Praise — Pride before the Fall
What can do you great harm is praise — for once it starts it never ends — if you are not careful, so as to humble yourselves more afterward. The most common way will be by telling you are saints, in such exaggerated form that it seems the devil teaches these words. And indeed he must sometimes, or if these words were spoken in the person's absence, they could be tolerated. But spoken in the person's presence, what fruit can they bear? Only harm, if you are not very cautious.
For love of God I ask you that you never seek peace for yourselves through these words of praise, for little by little they could do you harm and make you believe that the truth was spoken or make you think that now everything is accomplished and that you have done your part. You should never let a word of praise pass without it moving you to wage war interiorly, for this is easily done if you aquire the habit. Remember how the world treated Christ, our Lord, and how they exalted him on Palm Sunday. Look at the esteem it had for Saint John the Baptizer, for they wanted to take him for the Messiah, and how and why they beheaded him.
Never does the world exalt without putting down, if the exalted are the sons of God. I have a lot of experience of this. It used to afflict me to see so much blindness in these praises, and now I laugh to myself as though someone crazy were speaking. Remember your sins, and if in some matters people speak the truth in praising you, note that the virtue is not yours and that you are obliged to serve more. Awaken fear in your soul so that you do not rest in the kiss of this false peace given to the world; think that it is the kiss from Judas. although some do not praise you with such an intention, the devil is watching to see how he can take away the spoils if you do not defend yourselves against him.
by St. Teresa of Avila (+ 1582) Doctor of the Church