Day Thirty-Three: Pride

Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Pride is an untrue opinion of ourselves. Either through our own flawed reasoning or by giving into a temptation from the evil one, we formulate some idea about ourselves or our actions that is erroneous. This false idea often paints our life with false virtue and glosses over our sins, keeping us from changing and seeking the freedom we need. Pride is the “mother of all sins,” meaning, from pride all other sins flow. The sin of pride led to the fall of satan and the rest of the angels, equipping them with a unique ability to draw us into their sin.

The remedy for pride is humility, a virtue that fills us with authentic self-knowledge, enabling us to see ourselves as God sees us. Who among us wouldn’t want to know the full truth of who we are? Would we not want to peer at our own souls through God’s eyes? That can be frightening because we might not like what we see, but, unless we see our souls clearly and honestly, we will never be capable of further growth.

Pride leads us to have a superior attitude about ourselves. The proud person is easily offended, is judgmental, demands to be recognized and praised, fails to sincerely seek advice from others, is bossy, speaks ill of others, is prone to anger, argues, and is overly sensitive.

Those who are humble are true servants of others, charitably making themselves immediately available to meet others’ needs, without selfish concern. They take criticism, and even condemnation, in peace, not turning inward or brooding over the injustice but looking for ways to love more. Forgiveness is a given. Humble people are compassionate, love to serve, and are delighted when their service goes unnoticed, rejoicing that God alone sees all things. They do not argue, do not force their opinions on others, but listen and seek to understand others with compassion and gentleness, always holding onto the deep truths of God.

As we grow in God’s grace, a deeper form of pride can enter in—spiritual pride. This form of pride comes to those who are advancing in the spiritual life and see themselves as holier than they are. They want others to see how good they are and to be praised for their holiness. When they struggle with sin, they are ashamed and hide their sin, making excuses and failing to confess their sin honestly.

Ponder humility as the remedy for the sin of pride in your life. You can be certain that you struggle with pride, so admit that truth to God and yourself. Pray for the gift of self-knowledge, which is another word for humility. Seek to know yourself as God knows you, and you will be better prepared to overcome all pride.

My humble Lord, You were the epitome of humility. Though You are God, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, You permitted Yourself to be judged, condemned, and killed. Through it all, You remained silent and returned love for hatred. Please humble me, dear Lord, and free me from all pride. May I come to see myself as You see me, so that I will be aware of my every sin and turn from them to You. Jesus, I trust in You.

See also: Day Thirty-Three: 40 Days at the Foot of the Cross

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