Pride Comes Before the Fall

08-28-2022Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Is it okay to have some pride? Our Lord reminds us today that we are supposed to be humble? Humility is a virtue and it is the best virtue to fight against pride. But is all pride bad? For example, is it wrong to be proud of your children’s accomplishments? Is it wrong to share the gifts God has given to you?

If you are blessed with musical or artistic talents, you have been given the chance to make the world a better place. Hiding your gifts or having false humility may keep someone from experiencing the goodness of God through your gifts. So, it is not good to hide your light under a bushel basket. Withholding your talents can lead you to become fake and that does not give honor and glory to God. Sharing your talents makes our world and the lives of those around you better.

There are certainly forms of pride that are bad. For example, many suffer from the kind of pride that tells them they are totally self-sufficient and they don’t need God. That is the oldest trick of all. Satan told Adam and Eve that if they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil they would be like God and who needs God is you can be a god yourself?

In the end, pride pushes God aside to make room for you and your ideas only. Pride affects your relationships with those around you. Ignoring pride leads one to a hell on earth by causing division and isolation. Remember, pride was Lucifer’s downfall. Tragically, pride may keep a person away from confession. When one is suffering with pride, it becomes very difficult to admit sins to a priest. We have all heard people say, “I can confess to God without needing to go to a priest.” Sadly, these people will eventually try to bargain with God by setting up their own terms for His forgiveness and even rationalizing their sins away.

Jesus said to His first priests, the apostles, “Whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” When Jesus rose from the dead His first words to His apostles were “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven, and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.” Was Jesus speaking the truth? You know that answer. I realize that going to confession requires a great deal of humility. It is not usually easy to humble yourself. If you are having a difficult time going to confession, then pray. Ask God for the strength. God is waiting to offer you His mercy.

Here is the prayer I like to pray before confession: O loving and merciful God! help me to make a good Confession. Help me to examine my conscience, that I shall be able to tell the priest what sins I have committed and how often. Let me feel a deep sorrow for all my sins and give me the grace to firmly resolve not to sin again. O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, my dear Guardian Angel, and all ye blessed Angels and Saints in Heaven, pray for me, that I shall make a good Confession, and from now on lead a good life, so that I shall join thee in Heaven to praise our dear Lord, forever and ever. Our Father, Hail Mary.