Pride and Humility
“When Pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
Pride is a funny thing for men. It gives us the false impression that we are important and desirable. We tend to fall in love with our misplaced thoughts and false assumptions regarding our superior intellect. We don’t have room in our arrogant minds for people who challenge our thoughts and manliness. We become blind to love and empathy. We fall prey to self-pity and illusions of persecution. The only antidote is the infusion of humility. It is a singularly elusive virtue to the male countenance and yet it is the most essential elixir for a successful relationship with others. One must recognize the extreme importance of humility and then execute the expression of this essential virtue. I have failed in this regard repeatedly even when I recognize its vital importance in my relationships with others.
Prior to Jesus’ arrest and persecution in the Garden of Gethsemane, He warned his sleeping apostles of the importance of prayer: “Watch and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” The poignancy of this event exemplifies the inability of the apostles to recognize the vulnerability and weakness of Our Lord as the full knowledge of His upcoming suffering came to fruition. Perhaps they took His words as chastisement and did not fully recognize the magnitude of His suffering. Their response reflected callous disregard for the deep suffering of Jesus. Their pride blinded them, and they again chose sleep over supplication.
Humility comes through grace and prayer. It is paramount that we seek the invocation of the Holy Spirit to guide us towards this incredible gift. It is also critically important that we find ways to receive grace in the reception of the sacraments. These can become very low priority items in our daily life. We can falsely re-assure ourselves that we are a good and faithful people. When we choose to prioritize less important activities that fill the workday, it only serves to further distract us from our daily spiritual needs. This illusion of self-worth and productivity is one of the telling signs of our pride and arrogance. Daily prayer can be the vital habit that begins to balance the scale towards humility, but it requires fortitude and perseverance. Starting the day with prayer and a Gospel reflection has made a world of difference for me as I constantly fight the spiritual malaise that infects my male psyche.
I can assure you that overcoming pride has been a most arduous road for me to follow. Yet there can be no substitute for humility if we are to succeed in our human relationships. It has also been the most rewarding gift that I have ever encountered in my path towards holiness and in my search for perfect love.
Seek humility and you will find love.
Know that you will always have my prayers.