Pride vs Humility

pride and humility

I’m currently in the final stages of getting a book to print on the subject of sin. In the process of editing and discussions with others involved, I’ve had to confront a few of my own sinful inclinations — in particular, the sin of pride. An interesting observation that I’ve noted on that subject is that any particular sin is often defined in contrast to an opposite virtue. As such, lusts of the flesh are usually contrasted by the virtue of chastity. Similarly the sins of gluttony and avarice are juxtaposed with temperance.

The readings in today’s Liturgy present us with the contrast between pride and humility. Did you know that through humility, we may find greatness? Likewise, the parable that Jesus presents, shows us how thinking too highly of ourselves can lead to humiliation.

What is your focus in life? Whatever it is, it will define you. (Matthew 6:21). With a focus on the pride of life, you will become deeply entrenched in the things and pleasures of the world. Our modern age has innumerable distractions that WILL keep you from God. Filling your time with concerns of earthly pleasures, acquiring temporal wealth, will leave no room for spiritual fulfillment.

Is your life finding favor in the eyes of God?

In your busy life have you found time for the virtuous?

The Christian moral life is one that seeks to cultivate and practice virtue. “A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself.” An effective moral life demands the practice of both human and theological virtues.

Human virtues form the soul with the habits of mind and will that support moral behavior, control passions, and avoid sin. Virtues guide our conduct according to the dictates of faith and reason, leading us toward freedom based on self-control and toward joy in living a good moral life. Compassion, responsibility, a sense of duty, self-discipline and restraint, honesty, loyalty, friendship, courage, and persistence are examples of desirable virtues for sustaining a moral life. Historically, we group the human virtues around what are called the Cardinal Virtues.

This term comes from the Latin word cardo meaning “hinge.”
All the virtues are related to or hinged to one of the Cardinal Virtues. The four Cardinal Virtues are prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.

There are a number of ways in which we acquire human virtues. They are acquired by frequent repetition of virtuous acts that establish a pattern of virtuous behavior. There is a reciprocal relationship between virtue and acts because virtue, as an internal reality, disposes us to act externally in morally good ways. Yet it is through doing good acts in the concrete that the virtue within us is strengthened and grows.

The human virtues are also acquired through seeing them in the good example of others and through education in their value and methods to acquire them. Stories that inspire us to want such virtues help contribute to their growth within us. They are gained by a strong will to achieve such ideals. In addition, God’s grace is offered to us to purify and strengthen our human virtues, for our growth in virtue can be hampered by the reality of sin. Especially through prayer and the Sacraments, we open ourselves to the gifts of the Holy Spirit and God’s grace as another way in which we grow in virtue.

The Theological Virtues of faith, hope, and charity (love) are those virtues that relate directly to God. These are not acquired through human effort but, beginning with Baptism, they are infused within us as gifts from God. They dispose us to live in relationship with the Holy Trinity. Faith, hope, and charity influence human virtues by increasing their stability and strength for our lives.

Each of the Ten Commandments forbids certain sins, but each also points to virtues that will help us avoid such sins. Virtues such as generosity, poverty of spirit, gentleness, purity of heart, temperance, and fortitude assist us in overcoming and avoiding what are called the seven deadly or Capital Sins—pride, avarice or greed, envy, anger, lust, gluttony, and sloth or laziness—which are those sins that engender other sins and vices.

Growth in virtue is an important goal for every Christian, for the virtues play a valuable role in living a Christian moral life.

Grow in virtue my brothers and sisters eschew pride for humility. 

Focus on love and compassion rather than the prevailing spirit of hate in our day? 

Above all else, love God, and be called according to His purpose. In doing this, you will be keeping Him first. In continuing to do so, you will develop spiritual virtues that will bless you above all measure, and find favor in the eyes of God.

May the love of our Lord fill you with all love, joy and peace,

++Michael

+++++

FIRST READING
Sirach 3:17–18, 20, 28–29

My child, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts. Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God. What is too sublime for you, seek not, into things beyond your strength search not. The mind of a sage appreciates proverbs, and an attentive ear is the joy of the wise. Water quenches a flaming fire, and alms atone for sins.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 68:4–5, 6–7, 10–11 (see 11b)

R. God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.

The just rejoice and exult before God; they are glad and rejoice. Sing to God, chant praise to his name; whose name is the LORD.

R. God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.

The father of orphans and the defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling. God gives a home to the forsaken; he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.

R. God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.

A bountiful rain you showered down, O God, upon your inheritance; you restored the land when it languished; your flock settled in it; in your goodness, O God, you provided it for the needy.

R. God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.

SECOND READING
Hebrews 12:18–19, 22–24a

Brothers and sisters:
You have not approached that which could be touched and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness and storm and a trumpet blast and a voice speaking words such that those who heard begged that no message be further addressed to them. No, you have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering, and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven, and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect, and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.

ALLELUIA
Matthew 11:29ab

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Take my yoke upon you, says the Lord, and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GOSPEL
Luke 14:1, 7–14

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully.

He told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place. Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, ‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’ Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Then he said to the host who invited him, “When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

MICHAEL CALLAHAN

Michael Callahan is the Presiding Archbishop of the Catholic Church in America as well as the International Catholic Confederation. Bishop Callahan is also the founder of Koinonia News and has been a conservative blogger for several years.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu
×
×

Cart