Pride is pathetic….. miserably inadequate, pitiful, deplorable. What’s so pathetic about pride is that when we are proud we think we are the opposite of someone to be pitied. “Hey, look at me, I’m a genius… I’m so clever… everyone loves me… am I handsome or what… everyone wants to be with me, and why not…who wouldn’t…bla,bla,bla. Yet, it’s not true….. auuugghhhh.
“The pathetic fact about pride is that it moves us to replace God, the infinite Good for whom we are made with, with finite goods that cannot possibly fulfill us. The Israelites “adored a molten image and exchanged the glory of God for the image of a grass-eating bullock.” (Magnificat, March 18, 2021)
It’s easy to pick out pride in another, but very hard in ourselves. “Look at ole Joe, boy oh boy, is he full of himself or what… chuckle, chuckle, chuckle.” Look at that sappy tax collector, what a bum,…. look at that politician, what a dishonest crook …I’m sure glad I’m not like him…gee, I fast and give alms, and pray. ” Can you believe those Israelites….. adoring a golden calf… thinking it’s god…. wow, give me a break. God must be so happy to have holy people like me instead of those dunces. Hmmmmmmmmm.
C.S. Lewis says “the essential vice, the utmost evil, is pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere flea bites in comparison: it was through pride that the devil became the devil: pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.” Here’s another quick test from Lewis….. “The more pride we have, the more other people’s pride irritates us.”
So, where does this leave us? In truth we are all plagued with pride. The less we notice, probably the more we have. It’s a great thing to be convicted of pride. Once convicted, the Lord can begin to root it out. Lord, please free us of our pride so that we may love you with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and our neighbor as our self.
“The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men’s activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude. Buoyed up by hope, he is preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity.” (CCC 1818)