Here’s a quote from Susan Muto’s work “Where Lovers Meet: Inside the Interior Castle.” This work is a companion or commentary to St. Teresa of Avila’s “Interior Castle” classic on the spiritual life. Here Muto is discussing St. Teresa’s ‘vipers’ that one encounters as he or she seeks to draw near to God:
The viper’s trick is to deceive us into thinking that temporal affairs escalate in significance to the point where they almost seem the eternal. They try to deceive us into believing that worldly success will grant us at some point ultimate satisfaction. This illusion blinds us to the inherent finitude of earthbound affairs. However splendid our accomplishments may be, their outcomes pass away over time if we do not give the credit to God. The way of the vipers is to hold before our mind’s eye the esteem in which the world holds us when we exercise this kind of activism. They make us secretly relish people’s praise. Our pride-form allures us into thinking that our worthwhileness rests on the works in which we are engaged rather than in the God we serve. These clever devils also try to convince us that any kind of withdrawal to worship God in solitude is a big mistake. What will the other “worker bees” think of us if we take time to “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)?
I believe these comments stand on their own. For me, it is a point of reflection as I seek to live out my faith as true significance only comes from resting in God.