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