You may recall a series of homilies we shared a couple of years ago concerning the Seven Deadly Sins. In one we spoke about Pride. Today the scriptures speak of Humility, which is the cure for the sin of Pride. It will help us today help to return to understand the sin of Pride.
Let’s recall that there is no eternal life apart from God. Only God is eternal. Nothing else is eternal apart from God. There can be no eternal life if we are separated from God. Deadly sin, Mortal sin separates us from God, and we lose our eternal life. That is the meaning of “Mortal Sin”.
When we speak of the Capital Sin of Pride, we refer to the sin that has been called the “Mother of all other sins.” The Bible tells us that Pride was the first sin, committed by Satan, the “Father of Lies” and the “Prince of this World”. Satan wanted to be more powerful than God and to dominate all mankind. We should all have a healthy fear of Pride for its power to destroy us.
Pride is a powerful sin. Each time we decide in favor of ourselves, egotistically preferring ourselves over God or above others, we experience the sin of Pride. The sin that Adam and Eve both committed by being disobedient and rebellious, cost them their eternal life.
Through the sin of pride we act completely independent of God, as if we are the only judges of our actions and decisions. An example is the sin of abortion, in which the Mother is said to have dominion over the life and body of her child, not God. That is a version of sinful Pride. We may even tell ourselves that we believe in God, but we all too often choose ourselves over God. When couples begin to live together and have sex and children without a serious commitment in Sacred Matrimony, they commit a sin of Pride, as well as a sin of Lust. How does Divorce happen without a strong sin of Pride? We often prefer ourselves above God and others, as did Satan and Adam and Eve. Our pride makes us morally blind.
There are remedies for the Sin of Pride. It may appear to be a contradiction, but the humble man or woman knows their sin of pride, and seriously attempts to overcome it with deliberate humility. Humility can be learned. We can learn humility. We can practice humility. We don’t always have to prevail in every argument. Loving surrender can be a beautiful example of humility. We can choose to LAST, LESS, and humble That was the meaning of the parable Jesus told in the Gospel about the wedding guest.
“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 every one who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
If you feel it difficult to enter a celebration and purposely take the lower place of honor, then you know what your pride feels like. See it. Feel it. Know it. It is deadly. It can ruin you.
Humility can be learned. You have to want it and attempt it. You don’t have to win every argument. You don’t always have to be right. Examine your pride and your humility often. Go to frequent Confession. Do your penance, gladly, humbly.
Remember that every good thing in your life came from God, not from yourselves.
Repent and believe in the Gospel.