Week of June 20, 2021

Week of June 20, 2021


Dear Parishioners,

According to St. Thomas Aquinas, pride is an inordinate desire for excellence. A desire for excellence is a good thing (if in accord with right reason) since we should always strive to be the best that we can be. We naturally appreciate those who accomplish great things and try to be like them. However, this desire for excellence should not be our primary desire. In life we have to make choices between competing goods and the highest goods are of course love of God and love of neighbor. There are many times where we have to put away what we think might be important for the good of those around us. The more prideful someone is, the more they forget that other people matter more than accomplishment.

Pride becomes even worse when we become so afraid of our own faults and limitations that we refuse to admit or recognize them. Pride tells us we are great when we need help. Pride tells us that we should only trust in ourselves instead of recognizing our own needs. That is why pride is so insidious. Our faith teaches us that in order to be forgiven, we need to admit our faults. So, if we cannot see our faults for what they are, we are denying the grace to be forgiven of them and if they are grave faults, we are being led down a bad path. It is no mistake that the Bible displays the Original Sin of Adam and Eve as being a sin of pride. They thought that they could not trust God and therefore if they eat from the tree, they will become like Him.

In order to see if you suffer from an excess of pride, I have come up with some questions that I really want you to ask yourselves.

  • When someone is teaching you something, do you assume that you already know it?
  • Do you disregard advice?
  • Do you assume you’re too good for a menial task?
  • Do you only talk about yourself?
  • Do you need to be the center of attention?
  • Do you think yourself better than those less fortunate?
  • Are you constantly critical of others?
  • Are you unable to take criticism?
  • Do you try to justify your sins?

I don’t think most people can get past this little examination of conscience without feeling some guilt. At least I know I can be guilty of having this attitude. However, I am not here to criticize, I am here to help. I assure you that the mercy of God is available to anyone who asks for it in the Sacrament of Confession. Pride tells us we can save ourselves. But we know out of humility that only God can save us.

God bless!

Fr. Carter