By Pope/St. Gregory the Great:
For that man is an enemy to his Redeemer who on the strength of the good works he performs, desires to be loved by the Church, rather than by Him. Indeed, a servant is guilty of adulterous thought, if he craves to please the eyes of the bride when the bridegroom sends gifts to her by him. In truth, when this self-love captures a ruler’s mind, it sometimes rushes him into inordinate laxity, sometimes into asperity. For from love of himself, the ruler’s mind is diverted into laxity, when he sees his subjects sinning and does not dare to correct them, lest their love of him grow weak; indeed, sometimes when he should have reproved their faults, he glosses them over with adulation. Wherefore, it is well said by the Prophet: Woe to them that sew cushions under every elbow, and make pillows for the heads of persons of every age, to catch souls. To put cushions under every elbow is to cherish with smooth flattery souls that are falling away from rectitude and are reclining in the pleasures of this world. It is as if a person reclined with a cushion under the elbow, or a pillow under his head, when severe reproof is withheld from him when he sins, and enervating favouritism is bestowed on him, that he may recline at ease in his error, the while no asperity of reproof assails him.
- Pope/Saint Gregory the Great, Pastoral Care (“Regula Pastoralis,” 591 A.D., translated from the Latin by Henry Davis, S.J., Ancient Christian Writers Series, Vol. 11, Newman Press/Paulist Press, c. 1950 and 1978, pp. 75-76.