30TH OCTOBER 2021
PRIDE AND HUMILITY
The Gospel of today teaches that Jesus himself not just living humility but also teaching us to be humble. He corrects us from our human and natural attraction of self glorification and self-exaltation that do not give space for others. Humility is a virtue we all struggle to obtain. Its opposite, pride, is the fundamental flaw of all human beings.
What is pride?
The meaning of pride is an unreasonable feeling of superiority as to one’s talents, beauty, wealth, rank, and so forth. Pride makes one feels he is above many others in all fields and all sectors. It makes us focus on our status and our values, our achievement. We forget about any other person or any other being superior than us, including God. There is no need for God because we are totally self-reliant. We forget that we are nothing without God, and everything only because of God.
Consider the beginning of Genesis and the story of the first sin. There is a far deeper element to the story of original sin than the mere decision of Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. This was the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If they ate this fruit they would experience evil. But Adam and Eve decided that they were not going to be told what to do or not do by God. The serpent said to them, “Eat this and you will be like God.” He appealed to their pride. They didn’t eat the apple because they were hungry and there was nothing else to eat. They ate the apple because they decided that they did not need God.
Pride leads one to fear Humility. We need the help and support of other people to thrive perfection; but pride will stop us from allowing people to help us because we feel we should be able to do it all on our own. The original sin of mankind was disobedience occasioned by pride. We can say that pride is the source of all many other sins. In another words Pride is referred to as the
“Mother of all sins” for a reason. It leads to every other sin and, in many ways, is the source of all sin. Therefore, if we want to strive for perfection in life, we should seek true humility on a daily basis.
What is humility? Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts. It means freedom from thinking about yourself in one way or the other at all.
Humility is nothing other than seeing things as they are. A humble person sees him/herself in the truth of
God. This can be hard to do because it requires that we see ourselves as weak and dependent upon God. We may be able to accomplish many worldly things through our own strength and hard work. But we cannot achieve happiness and goodness unless we open ourselves to the truth of our weaknesses and dependence upon God for all things.
In fact, humility comes from the Latin word, humus, which means the ground, the dirt. It means that we have both of our feet on the ground, that we have a deep sense of who we are. One of our two grounded feet, we could say, is that we recognize we’re dust and unto dust we shall return. We recognize our human weakness, our frailties, and our limitations. In humiliating oneself, he is exalting and putting others to a higher level which is the great virtue to Christian perfection.