06 March 2008

Pride is Idolatry

All pride springs from ignorance. It is no pride to have a correct view of ourselves; to acknowledge the blessings and advantages we possess; as, on the other hand, it is no proof of humility, but often only of a subtle pride, to cry ourselves down, and make little of the talents, of whatever kind, with which God has entrusted us.

Pride is, in fact, the idolatry of self—an inordinate self-esteem. Humility is simply the dethroning of this idol, and "consists", as has been well said,"not so much in thinking meanly of ourselves as in not thinking of ourselves at all." Thus, to "be filled with the Spirit"—to have God our all in all—to have Christ "dwelling in our hearts by faith", is the true way to be humble; for if our minds be taken up with the indwelling presence of God, and the thought of pleasing Him—there will be little time for thinking about and seeking to please ourselves.

We know from the whole of Scripture how hateful to God is the sin of idolatry. Now, seeing that pride is the idolatry of a most unworthy object—self, we need not wonder at the statement of the text,"God resisteth the proud". This is, in truth, the worst of sins, as it lies at the root of all sins. It has been well said—"Other sins lower man, pride alone exalts him against God; other sins fly from God, pride alone opposes itself to God. Therefore, God also in turn, opposes Himself to the proud."

~Martin A. Keene, A.B.
Curate of Harold's Cross, in the Diocese of Dublin
The Army of Christ: a Series of Lenten Sermons (1868)

Prayer O my God, I thank you and I praise you for accomplishing your holy and all-lovable will without any regard for mine. With my whole heart, in spite of my heart, do I receive this cross I feared so much! It is the cross of Your choice, the cross of Your love. I venerate it; nor for anything in the world would I wish that it had not come, since You willed it. I keep it with gratitude and with joy, as I do everything that comes from Your hand; and I shall strive to carry it without letting it drag, with all the respect and all the affection which Your works deserve. Amen. ~St. Francis de Sales

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