Sin of Pride
Updated: Mar 25, 2019
Happy Monday Ladies! I wanted to invite you all to join us for a new series starting this week! With Lent starting up this Wednesday, we will be diving into reflecting on the 7 vices and their 7 combating virtues! Every week we will talk about one vice, how it affects our lives or can be manifested and then look at the virtue that combats it. We are so excited to be walking with you through this Lenten journey!
Before I go into defining which vice we will be focusing on today, I wanted to touch upon why it is so important to acknowledge these “capital sins.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church gives a great definition: “Vices can be classified according to the virtues they oppose, or also be linked to the capital sins which Christian experience has distinguished, following St. John Cassian and St. Gregory the Great. They are called "capital" because they engender other sins, other vices.They are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth or acedia.” (CCC 1866)
These sins are known as capital sins because it is from them that all other sins flow. By understanding the root and combating these sins from the core, we will be fighting all the sins that follow from them as well!
Today I wanted to start off with what Pope St. Gregory the Great refers to as the “root of all sin” or the “queen of the 7 deadly sins”.
What is pride? St. Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa Theologiae, defines pride this way: “Pride [superbia] is so called because a man thereby aims higher [supra] than he is; wherefore Isidore says (Etym. x): "A man is said to be proud, because he wishes to appear above (super) what he really is"; for he who wishes to overstep beyond what he is, is proud.” (ST II.II.q162.a1)
If we break this down in simpler terms…pride is the self-centered (egocentric) focus of “it is all about me”, at the expense of those around us. Everything we do, how we act, how we treat others is all directed to benefit us and raise us up in an unhealthy way that creates a false reality of who we are.
It is important to note, however, that pride can be seen in an uplifting light and a downgrading light. What do I mean by this? A person can be prideful through constantly lifting themselves us, or making themselves seem higher than everyone else around them, or constantly bringing the focus on them so they become the center of attention.
HOWEVER! (And this one is also very important!) Pride can also be self-pity, downgrading ourselves, and constantly feeling like we are lower than others (sort of like a “woe is me” mentality). This is also known as “false humility.” Notice that in both instances, whether we lift ourselves up or tear ourselves down…the focus still remains on US AT THE CENTER!
My dear ladies, I want you to take a look at your day today and bring your awareness to where do you catch yourself in moments of pride. Later in the week we will go into how do we combat this vice with a virtue, but for today I just encourage you to bring your awareness to it!
Come Holy Spirit and open our eyes!
Walking together, Sandra