Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday Reflections

The angels had a problem with pride. That’s where Lucifer went astray. He attributed all the gifts God gave him to himself. And so, as a result, no one could be greater than him. He didn’t particularly mind that the Most High was above him, but no one else could be next to the Most High, ‘to find out that human beings, a man and a woman, would be above him was more than he could take. So he said, “I will not serve”. This is happening today. Pride of the intellect, pride of will, and pride of spiritual gifts are everywhere.

In the Gospel, Our Lord is very lenient on those who have moral failings. You have the woman taken in adultery, the prostitute, the thieves, the tax collectors- pretty big sinners. Jesus had great compassion for these people. They all suffered from sins of weakness, physical and emotional weakness. The sin of pride is a different matter. He seemed to have no compassion for the Pharisees. When we arrive at that great pride that says, “I will not serve,” we have essentially denied the existence of God.

All falls are gradual. Man is not like a stone rolling downhill. Man falls very slowly—almost unconsciously. He slips gradually over a long period of time. We are creatures of habit, and if we have acquired a habit of goodness, it is difficult to fall quickly. The fall usually comes bit by bit. It’s like daily prayer. Things crowd in on you, so you cut it short. The next day something else comes up. The next day you skip it. You keep this up for days, and weeks, and months, and the first thing you know you have stopped praying altogether. It has been so gradual, and now you have so many things to do, and so many places to go, prayer is a torture. If it isn’t practiced regularly, sanctity can slip away in the same fashion.
---Mother Angelica, Little Book of Life's Lessons and Everyday Spirituality

Shawie

6 Grateful Heart's Words:

Debbie said...

What a great post for Easter. You're so right "all falls are gradual". I don't think a person decides to become lazy or a glutton or untrustworthy one day. But after a while, these poor habits and choices can become the norm.

I wish you and your family a blessed Easter!

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Secondary Roads said...

Yet again you have blessed me. Important truth and well stated.
-- Chuck

Alicia said...

Shawie this is great! Pride comes before the fall.
Have you ever read "The Skrewtape Letters" by, C.S. Lewis? This book is letters from Skrewtape(the devil) to his nephew, Wormwood, on how to destroy a newly converted Christian. One part I think about often is when Skrewtape says to Wormwood, "Our patient is becoming humble, have you made him aware of the fact?" Interesting how Satan use the aweful vice of pride to ever so slowly drag us down by little thoughts of "self worship"...How quick we are to "pat ourselves on the back" or to "rustle for recognition"...how slow we are to acknowledge God who gives us our daily breath and ability to do any good in the first place. Without Him we are no more than the dust of the earth. He is the one who breathes in us life. After all we can do it is only through Christ that any of us are made pure that we can ever be made whole and holy.

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DrDeb said...

I agree that egotistical pride is a serious risk to our peace of mind because it is an illusion, and only the truth can set us free. Pride implies that we can do something apart from God, which is impossible. So I fully support your important theme of gratitude, which is a healthier response to whatever gifts we have been given.