A question regarding Pride (or two!)

So, pride got brought up in my theology class the other day. My professor said pride would land you in hell much faster than sexual sins; and that got me thinking. How can one be humble? It seems like whenever I try to humble, I’m always like, “Hey! What a good job I’m doing, being humble and all,” which I realize isn’t being humble at all. Another example, I went to confession recently, and I thought to myself, “Good job for me for realizing pride could be a problem!” I realize I need to correct myself every time this happens, but I’m nor sure how. . . Does anyone have any suggestions?

Secondly, and I believe more urgently, what do you do in the situation I am about to present? I’m in college. And being in college, I see a lot of drinking, drugs, and sex. Now, I’ve never gotten into those, but I know a lot of people who do. How do I few them? I feel like I’m doing a better job than them (which is so prideful), but if you think about it, I am. I know I really can’t think like that; but how do I think? I’m really wondering about this. Anyone?

1 - you’re going overboard (I think they call it Scrupulosity, or something like that…) You’re not doing yourself any good and essentially just getting in your own spiritual way with that line of thinking.

2 - The sin of pride isnt just being proud of yourself. You can be proud and humble. In fact, you should take pride in yourself for steering clear of drugs and sex.

Where pride becomes a problem is when it blinds you to love. My brother is too proud to admit he has an addiction. His pride is more of a problem than the alcohol because it is pride that prevents him from humbling himself.

PS I’m a million times more humble than you :stuck_out_tongue:

I love the last line. Made me laugh out loud!

The rule I follow is “Don’t be so proud to the point that you miss your own flaws.” It’s okay to be happy when you do really well at something, but never use it as an excuse to not improve some other aspect of your life. People guilty of the sin of pride think they are perfect, that they can do no wrong. Many people become like this after drinking too much, another reason to control your alcohol use. Also, if someone is very good at something or has some particular strength, God calls them to use it to help others. They can be proud they are so good at whatever it is, but that means they have more responsibility to use it for good.

I’ve also heard before that it is very bad to be proud in the sense that you think you can do without God.

On Humility
Those believers who have “graduated” to grace
(Gal 3:24) CANNOT lord it over the “sinners” they see
in their world, because they ACKNOWLEDGE that, given the right
circumstances and opportunities, THEY will likewise sin!
So we can say with Paul “Christ Jesus came into the
world to save sinners, of whom I AM CHIEF.”(1 Tim 1:15)

Here is a definition of pride that may help you understand a little better:


I’ll quote one part that I think highlights the key error in pride:

“When pride is carried to the extent that a person is unwilling to acknowledge dependence on God and refuses to submit his or her will to God or lawful authority, it is a grave sin.”

To be prideful is essentially to lose sight of the fact that we owe *everything *to God. If we are humble, which is a good thing, it is thanks to the grace that God imparts to us. So our humility may be a source of “pride”, but if we keep our focus on the fact that God is firstly the source of any merit or virtue that we may have, then we will keep our pride in check.

If you have humility, and see that as a good thing, be thankful to God for it (and pray he continues to grant such grace). Offer all thanks and praise to Him, and keep none for yourself, and you will be free of pride.

How would your theology professor be in a position to make such a claim? He is speculating. Saint Therese said sexual sins are the biggest cause of souls going to hell and souls are falling into hell like snowflakes.

Humility Is called the mother of all virtue. It gives birth to all other virtues. Pride is the precursor of all sin. It is a sin and it leads to more sin.

Pride is insidious. We are prideful when we don’t realize it. It sneaks up on us.

A way to battle pride is to realize when you see yourself doing any good thing that any good you do is by God’s grace. You have not gotten involved with immorality. Thank God for the grace that protected you. You are better, at least spiritually better off than those who have fallen, but it is by God’s grace. Without it you would be in big trouble. Pray for grace for those who need it. Even though you have not gotten involved in those sins we all have faults to work on. We are all sinful. We all need the grace of repentance. So we should not compare ourselves to others we know, but to Jesus and Mary.

As a side note there is another form of pride that many find difficult to believe at first(I know I did) and its has to do with despair. Its another form of ego-centrism where you focus on your sins to such an extreme degree all you do is think about yourself and your sinfulness. And you fill yourself with self-loathing and constantly berate yourself to the point of believing that God could never love you or would never forgive you because you’re so terrible.

It leads one to hide from God completely.

Very dangerous.

I think the professor is talking worst instead of most common.

If you could cite where in Catholic teaching that is talked about that’d be great.

Usually that kind of thinking is the result of abuse or survivor’s guilt.

First off, you either misheard what your professor said or he misspoke. No mortal sin lands anyone in hell faster than another. If you die in mortal sin, you go to hell. Period.

If the conditions of mortal sin are met. It does not matter if one is an unrepentant practicing homosexual, murderer, masturbator, contraception, blasphemer, or prideful person. Mortal sin= hell. Not fast hell, not slow hell, but hell.

Every once in a while someone will make an argument on these threads about one sin being worse than another. I always say people can argue for eternity in Hell about who had the worse sin.

Confession lines should be a lot longer than they are…

Adam and Eve sinned. One could make the argument it was pride, greed, distrust in the Lord. Anything. But they sinned. And ALL MANKIND was punished for it. Sin is sin.

Now lets get to your pride question.

I have always thought of it like this.

Remember in the Bible where Jesus was giving the parable of the workers.

Matthew 20:16

“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

And of course Matthew 23:12

For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

I have always wondered about this. And about when the apostles were arguing about who was the greatest. I can picture them arguing about who the greatest apostle is and Jesus says it is the most humble one. I can actually envision the apostles tripping over themselves and fighting about who was the most humble. :smiley:
You see this a lot in protestant circles with the phrase
“there is no bigger sinner than me” :rolleyes: As if they are murderous adulterous evil babykillers.

But in the Catholic faith, we have the saints to show us to be virtuous, holy and how to get to heaven. We are a special people, called and set aside for God. We are called to be holy. And, as Paul says," if we boast, let it be in Christ."

There is a short paragraph in the Catechism: 2091.

The rest is from my priest.

Despair is a sin because its a negative form of pride, where arrogance or hubris is the positive form of pride.

Both of them come from the excessive focus on the self, which is contrary to humility and is an obstacle to the true practice of love, either through accepting God’s love in Christ, or in doing works of love for neighbor.

Didnt Jesus tell someone there was certain commandments that were more important that others? This seems to imply that some sins are worse than others imo.

Plus, I dont think there will any arguing in Hell, as spirits dont have mouths, voices, ears, etc. LOL

  1. Yes he did and as he did he ranked the commandments in violation of God and neighbor.
    Technically every single sin is a violation of the first commandment.

  2. The Church teaches that if you die in mortal sin you go to hell. Period. It does not matter what sin it was, you are not in a state of grace when you die. You know this right?
    That is why we have confession.

  3. We believe in the resurrection of the Body. “spirits” may not have bodies, angels do not have bodies, but they communicate.
    It says it plain as day in the creed. We believe in the resurrection of the Body. And life everlasting.

In heaven there will be no arguing, because we will all be purified. But in hell, I’m quite certain there will be disagreements and strife. Jesus makes this perfectly clear with the parable of the Rich man and Lazarus.

Here’s the examination of conscience I use regarding the sin of Pride. Maybe that will help:

Do I entertain too great an opinion of myself or value myself above my deserts?
Have I a superior attitude in thinking, or speaking or acting?
Have I refused to admit my own weakness (es)?
Am I snobbish?
Have I offensive, haughty ways of acting or carrying myself?
Do I hold myself above others?
Do I demand recognition?
Do I desire to be always first?
Do I never seek advice? Am I ready to accept advice?
Have I refused to learn from others?
Am I in any sense a “bully”? Am I inclined to be “bossy”?
Am I prone to belittle persons, or places, or things?
Am I prone to be critical of persons, places, things?
Do I speak ill of others?
Have I lied about others?
Do I make known the faults of others?
Am I ready to speak about the faults of others? Do I find fault easily?
Do I seek to place the blame on others, excusing myself?
Am I quick to see the faults of others? Or dwell on others’ faults?
Do I ridicule others?
Is there anyone to whom I refuse to speak? Is there anyone to whom I have not spoken for a long time?
Am I prone to argue? Am I positive and offensive in my arguments? Have I a superior, “a know-it-all attitude” in arguments?
Have I been stubborn? Refused to admit I was wrong? Refused to accept that another person had a better idea?
Am I self-conscious?
Does human respect enter into my daily life?
Am I sensitive? Am I easily wounded?
Do I tend to publish what I think good in myself, that I may be esteemed by others?
Am I arrogant, attributing to myself the good I have not.
Am I presumptuous and overly ambitious, by confiding too much in my own strength, conceiving myself capable of accomplishing things above my abilities, and in rashly attempting them?
Do I have contempt of others, on account of the good opinions I have of myself, and is this contempt manifested by words or actions or by being severe and exacting on inferiors?
Do I neglect to submit to my superiors, by disobeying them, blaming their conduct, or murmuring against them?
Do I refuse to acknowledge my faults; or when, in confessing the facts, we maintain we have done well, or at least allege false excuses?
Do I have contempt of admonitions and corrections?
Am I ungrateful for God’s benefits?
Have I been content with my lowly position, or have I resented the role that Christ asks of me?
False-humility fails to use our gifts. Have I neglected to use the talents that God has given me?

Pride is that little voice inside your head that tells you there is nothing wrong with you. You’re doing great cause you are at Church every Sunday and Holy Day and make nice healthy donations and smile at the bag boy at the Piggly Wiggly store…etc, etc. etc… until you get so full of yourself you’re PERFECT! Why God OWES you Heaven for all you do for Him! It tells you you haven’t any BIG sins to worry about so why bother with Confession? You haven’t robbed any banks lately. All this keeps you from looking to see if there is any sins you might want to work on. How can the Physician of souls heal you if you haven’t any need of Him? We are all sinners, but pride conspires to help you think yours aren’t that bad which will lead you to thinking you don’t have any sins. At that point, you’re pretty much dead in the water.

Pride can also tell you that you don’t need anyone’s help, including God’s and that begins to cut you off from everyone, including God. It really is tops in the list of the Seven Deadly Sins. That’s why they are called DEADLY. They kill the life of grace in the soul.


you forgot the last two Questions you should ask yourself!
here they are:
!. Have I failed to LOVE my bro or sister thinking that
2.Have I swallowed the evil one’s lie that I don’t need
to FEAR God anymore?

Does that imply that it is sinful to share successes with others, or post good pictures of oneself on Facebook?
As far as I remember being told before, things like that are not sins? But it may depend on the circumstances and attitude?

Bad I would say is if one does anything in order to put others down, humiliate them?

Ok, in this list for examination of conscience regarding pride, two points make me think:

So taken to the extreme, this might mean that posting a good pictur of oneself on facebook, hoping for “Likes”, might already be sinful… or sharing a success with others or liking others to see ones talents…
I do not think these things are already sins but very human things that we also need to make us feel good about ourselves and give us inspiration?

This is something that used to cause a lot of scruples in me and that I have talked to more than one priest about, but of course it depends on the person and on the situation too…

In any case, my feeling says that it is bad to do something in order to put others down, humiliate them…

This as almost like an opposite to the above… but maybe I understood the above point wrong…
Isn’t it almost normal that we are happy when others share the joy when we are good at something?

Curious what others think about that…

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