Posts Tagged ‘Pride’

“We have to toil away each day with Jesus”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2016/04/15 at 12:00 AM


How happy when they die must be those who have lived heroically every minute of their life! I can assure you it is so, because I have seen the joy of those who have prepared themselves for many years, with calm impatience, for this encounter. (Furrow, 893)

Our Lord has given us as a present our very lives, our senses, our faculties, and countless graces. We have no right to forget that each of us is a worker, one among many, on this plantation where He has placed us to cooperate in the task of providing food for others. This is our place, here within the boundaries of this plantation. Here is where we have to toil away each day with Jesus, helping him in his work of redemption.

Allow me to insist. You think your time is for yourself? Your time is for God! It may well be that, by God’s mercy, such selfish thoughts have never entered into your mind. I’m telling you these things in case you ever find your heart wavering in its faith in Christ. Should that happen, I ask you — God asks you — to be true to your commitments, to conquer your pride, to control your imagination, not to be superficial and run away, not to desert. (Friends of God, 49)

[1] cf Col 1:24


“You should walk at God’s pace, not at your own”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2015/08/28 at 12:00 AM
You say yes, you are determined to follow Christ. All right. Then you should walk at his pace, not at your own. (The Forge, 531)

You want to know on what our faithfulness is founded? I would say, in broad outline, that it is based on loving God, which makes us overcome all kinds of obstacles: selfishness, pride, tiredness, impatience|… A man in love tramples on his own self. He is aware that even when he is loving with all his soul, he isn’t yet loving enough. (The Forge, 532)

In the interior life, as in human love, we have to persevere. You have to meditate often on the same themes, keeping on until you re‑discover an old discovery. “How could I not have seen this so clearly before?” you’ll ask in surprise. Simply because sometimes we’re like stones, that let the water flow over them, without absorbing a drop. That’s why we have to go over the same things again and again ‑‑ because they aren’t the same things ‑‑ if we want to soak up God’s blessings. (The Forge, 540)

God does not let himself be outdone in generosity. Be very sure that he grants faithfulness to those who give themselves to him. (The Forge, 623)

“Without Him we can do nothing”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2015/06/05 at 12:00 AM
When you feel self love – pride! – stirring within you, making you out to be a superman, it is time to cry out: No! In this way you will savour the joy of the good son of God who goes through life with not a few faults, but doing good. (The Forge, 1054)

Do you see how necessary it is to know Jesus and lovingly observe his life? I have often gone to look for a definition or a biography of Jesus in Scripture. And I have found it written by the Holy Spirit: “He went about doing good” [1]. Every single day of Jesus Christ’s life on earth, from his birth until his death, can be summed up like that: he filled them all doing good. And in another place Scripture says, “He has done all things well” [2], he finished everything well, he did nothing that wasn’t good.

What about you and me, then? Let’s take a look to see if we have to put anything right. I certainly can find plenty to improve. I know that by myself I am incapable of doing good. And, since Jesus has said that without him we can do nothing [3], let us, you and me, go to our Lord and ask for his help, through his Mother, in one of those intimate conversations natural to souls who love God. I will say no more, for it’s up to each of you to speak to him personally, about your own needs. Do it interiorly, without the noise of words, now — while I for my part apply these counsels to my own sorry state. (Christ is passing by, 16)
[1] Acts 10:38
[2] Mark 7:37
[3] Cf John 15:5

“Ask for true humility”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2014/08/01 at 12:00 AM
Humility is born of knowing God and knowing oneself. (The Forge, 184)

Those periods of depression, because you see your defects or because others discover them, have no foundation … Ask for true humility. (Furrow, 262)

Let us flee from the false humility which is called comfort-seeking. (Furrow, 265)

Lord, I ask for a gift from you: Love, a Love that will cleanse me. And another gift as well: self‑knowledge so that I may be filled with humility. (The Forge, 185)

The saints are those who struggle right to the end of their lives, who always get up each time they stumble, each time they fall, and courageously embark on their way once more with humility, love and hope. (The Forge, 186)

If your mistakes make you more humble, if they make you reach out more urgently for God’s helping hand ‑‑ then they are a road to sanctity. Felix culpa! ‑‑ O happy fault!, the Church sings. (The Forge, 187)

Humility teaches each soul not to lose heart in the face of of its own blunders. True humility leads us to ask for forgiveness. (The Forge, 189

“Lord, if you will, you can make me clean”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2014/04/25 at 12:00 AM
The heart has been created to love, do not doubt it. Let us therefore bring Our Lord Jesus Christ into the love that we feel. Otherwise, the empty heart takes revenge and fills itself up with the most despicable vileness. (Furrow, 800)

How are we to approach Jesus, what are we to say, how should we behave?

Christian life is not made up of rigid norms, because the Holy Spirit does not guide souls collectively, but inspires each one with resolutions, inspirations and affections that will help it to recognize and fulfil the will of the Father. Still, I feel that, on many occasions, the central theme of our conversation with Christ, in our thanksgiving after holy Mass, can be the consideration that our Lord is our king, physician, teacher and friend.

He is our physician, and he heals our selfishness, if we let his grace penetrate to the depths of our soul. Jesus has taught us that the worst sickness is hypocrisy, the pride that leads us to hide our own sins. We have to be totally sincere with him. We have to tell the whole truth, and then we have to say: “Lord, if you will” — and you are always willing — ”you can make me clean.” You know my weaknesses; I feel these symptoms; I suffer from these failings. We show him the wound, with simplicity, and if the wound is festering, we show the pus too. Lord, you have cured so many souls; help me to recognize you as the divine physician, when I have you in my heart or when I contemplate your presence in the tabernacle. (Christ is passing by, 92-93)

Come Up Higher

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2014/01/16 at 12:00 AM
Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers
Our Lord says, “Every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Humility doesn’t mean having low self-esteem, or being overly pious or holy because true humility isn’t about us.  Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking about yourself less.
What does humility look like?  When Solomon became King of Israel, he asked God to give him “an understanding mind [wisdom] to govern thy people, that I may discern between good and evil […] It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.  And God said to him, ‘Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word’” (1 Kings 3:9-12).
To be humble is to live with the realization that I am constantly in the presence of God.  To realize that everything I think, say and do is done in His presence.  To acknowledge that everything that I am, everyone I meet, and all that I experience in this world is His creation.  To understand that every time I go against Christ and the teachings of his Church, I am separating myself from being able to have a personal encounter with God.
Yet, in our weakness, we often spurn humility and turn our backs on God when we sin; when we believe that we know better than God; when we think we are the author of our own success; when we live by our own rules apart from the Church; when we ignore God’s plan.  In our pride, we too often live absent the awareness that we are forever in the presence of God.
The virtue of humility permits us to live before God as we truly are, and the first step in deepening our relationship with God is to understand and acknowledge that we are prideful.  Pride is the opposite of humility and seeks to draw attention to oneself.  Pride is shallow, focusing on the “outer life” (how I appear to other people) and denying the “inner life” (how I appear to God).  Pride may be expressed in different ways: coming to Church on Sunday but deliberately living apart from the teachings of the Church the rest of the week; taking personal credit for our accomplishments and achievements as if they had not been the result of God’s divine goodness and grace; minimizing our sins because “I’m such a good person”, and by emphasizing and dwelling on the sins of others.  When pride is carried to the extent that a person is unwilling to acknowledge dependence on God, and refuses to submit his or her will to God and the lawful authority of His Church, it is gravely sinful.
True humility can only begin when our eyes are fixed upon Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Peter knelt before Jesus and said, “Depart from me for I am a sinful man.”  Mary Magdalene wept at the feet of Jesus and dried her tears with her hair.  The Roman centurion told Jesus that he was not worthy that he should enter under his roof.  The humble recognition of our own sinfulness allows us to experience the mercy of God.  When Jesus speaks to the Apostles concerning the grace of true humility, He uses today’s parable about assuming places of honor. In the end, Jesus Himself models this behavior for His Apostles, by becoming the servant of all.  “While on earth, go to the lowest place at the table” Jesus tells us.  “Later on, at the resurrection of the righteous, you will be brought up higher.”

“Do no be sorry to be nothing”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2012/05/02 at 9:11 AM
Don’t worry if they see your defects; the offence against God and the scandal you may give; that is what should worry you. Apart from this, may you be known for what you are and be despised. Don’t be sorry to be nothing, since then Jesus will have to be everything for you. (The Way, 596)

‘No man,’ St John writes, ‘has ever seen God; but now his only‑begotten Son, who abides in the bosom of the Father, has himself revealed him,’ appearing to the astonished gaze of men: first, as a new-born babe, in Bethlehem; then, as a child just like other children; later on, in the Temple, as a bright and alert 12-year old; and finally in the lovable and attractive image of the Teacher who stirred the hearts of the enthusiastic crowds that accompanied him.

We have only to consider a few traits of God’s Love made flesh and our souls are touched by his generosity; they are set on fire and feel gently impelled to contrition for having been petty and selfish on so many occasions. Jesus does not mind lowering himself in order to raise us from our destitution to the dignity of being children of God and brothers of his. You and I, unlike him, often pride ourselves stupidly on the gifts and talents we have received, to the point of making them a pedestal from which to impose our will on others, as if the merits of our few relatively successful efforts derived from ourselves alone. ‘What do you have that you have not received from God? And if what you have, you have received, why do you boast as if you had not received it?’

When we think of God’s self‑giving and the way he humbled himself — I am saying this so that each one of us can meditate on it and apply it to himself — then the vainglory and presumption of the proud man stands out as a truly hideous sin, for the very reason that such conduct is poles apart from the model given us by Jesus Christ. Think about it slowly: He, being God, humiliated himself; man, puffed up with self‑love, tries to build himself up at any cost, without recognizing that he is but a creature of clay, and poor clay at that. (Friends of God, 111-112)

“The things people have said, what they are thinking…”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2011/08/18 at 7:00 AM

The higher a statue is raised, the harder and the more dangerous the impact when it falls. (Furrow, 269)

When we hear pride spoken of, perhaps we imagine it as despotic, domineering behaviour. We associate it with the clamour of the mob acclaiming the passing victor, who, like a Roman emperor, bows his head lest his glorious brow graze the white marble of the high triumphal arches.

But let us be realistic. This type of pride is found only in people with crazy imaginations. We have to fight against other forms of pride that are more subtle, and more frequent: against the pride of preferring our own excellence to that of our neighbour; against vanity in our conversations, thoughts and gestures; against an almost sickly touchiness that takes offence at words and actions that are in no way meant to be insulting.

All this can be, and is, a common temptation. A person can come to see himself as the sun and centre of all those around him. Everything must centre round himself. And to satisfy this unhealthy urge, the proud person will sometimes even fake pain, sadness or illness to attract attention so that others will make a fuss of him…

In this miserable mood everything makes him bitter and he tries to upset others also. All this because he doesn’t wish to be humble, because he hasn’t learned to forget himself in order to give himself generously in the service of others for the love of God. (Friends of God)