Friday, November 4, 2011

Devotion for today: pride= number one deadly sin

Today we will start a series on the seven deadly sins, and the first is pride.

Scripture for meditation: Sirach 4:23
For the affliction of the proud man there is no cure; he is an offshoot of an evil plant.

Christ tells us: Luke 18:9-14
He then spoke this parable addressed to those who believed in their own self-righteousness while holding everyone else in contempt: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one was a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee with head unbowed prayed in this fashion: 'I give you thanks, O God, that I am not like the rest of men-grasping, crooked, adulterous - or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week. I  pay tithes on all I possess. The other man, however, kept his distance, not even daring to raise his eyes to heaven. All he did was beat his breast and say, 'O God, be merciful to me, a sinner." Believe me, this man went home from the temple justified but the other did not. For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled while he who humbles himself shall be exalted."

C.S.Lewis tells us in Mere Christianity: There is not fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves. And the more we have it in ourselves, the more we dislike it in others. The vice I am talking of is Pride or Self-Conceit....According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride....the others are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind....How is it that people quite obviously eaten up with Pride can say they believe in God and appear to themselves very religious? I am afraid it means they are worshipping an imaginary God. They theoretically admit themselves to be nothing in the presence of this phantom God, but are really all the time imagining how He approves of them and thinks them far better than ordinary people.... If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.

Prayer: Offering of Self
Accept, O Lord, all my freedom. Accept my memory, my mind and all my will. Whatever I am or possess, you have graciously given me; I give it all back to you, to be completely governed by your will. Give me only your love and your grace and I am rich enough, and I ask nothing more. Amen. Catholic Prayers for Every Day and All Day, St. Anthony Messenger Press.

My thoughts: Pride is the deadliest sin there is. C.S. Lewis makes no bones about it. We are all filled with pride, and that is a bad thing. Is there hope for us? You bet there is, but we have to start by seeing what Christ tells us in His parable. No one who presents himself to God, thinking that he is as perfect as God, is going anywhere near heaven. Anyone who looks down on his fellow man, spends his day preaning his own feathers instead of humbly asking God for help, or strutting through life instead of examining his conscience is worthy of the callling of Christ. Sirach tells us there is no cure: it is so evil. Christ has come to deliver us from that evil, however, and by memorizing our Offering of Self and chanting it to God every time we feel our arm extending to pat ourselves on the back, we are one step closer to the antithesis of pride, and that is humility.

Your prayer to God:  God has a dream for each of us, but he cannot fulfill it if we are so convinced of our own ability and power to direct our own lives. Stand before the crucifix tonight, place your hand on Christ's crucified feet, and allow your will to flow out of you and onto the cross. Then relax, and let God's will fill the void. Repeat again and again, "Give me your love and your grace, and I am rich enough, and I ask nothing more."

No comments: