Pride - unreasonable and inordinate self-esteem; the excessive love of one's own excellence.
Middle English, from Old English pryde, from prud, proud.
The desert monks tell us that pride is the most deadly of all thoughts. Hasidic sages tell us God and the proud man or
proud woman cannot dwell together in the same place. Prideful thoughts tell us we can control our destiny and the destiny
of others. It tells us we know what is best for ourselves and for others. Pride becomes who we are.
John Cassian tells
us the tell-tale sign of pride is when someone starts to make judgements about what is good for everyone around them. When
this happens conversation is no longer possible.
There are two kinds of pride. There is spiritual pride and there is
carnal pride. An example of spiritual pride is when a person believes they can show others the path to great heights of wisdom
and power. Carnal pride is an exaggerated thought of self-importance.
The desert monks and hermits tell us pride can
destroy all virtues and it attacks the whole person. It casts down the whole body, mind and soul. Pride lacks patience and
charity. It is hard to renounce pride because it feels so good.
Humility combats pride. Humility is not "up" as in
vanity nor is it "down" as in dejection. To be humble someone needs to be mindful of God. Humility means being watchful over
our behavior and inner thoughts and having a willingness to respond to others with charity. Spiritual direction is helpful.
deters us from having a spiritual life. We can always make a new beginning. The desert monks and hermits tell us the journey
without pride requires a simple and profound listening to all that is holy in this life. There are many guides including scripture,
tradition, friends and elders.