I have a real problem with spiritual pride. This morning, I found myself acting out the
gospel reading, and not in a good way. My parents were discussing soap opera spoilers and I found myself thinking “They shouldn’t watch that stuff. They should pray the rosary. They should be more spiritual–like me.” This despite my parents being much better than me, and Protestant beside. I have a real problem controlling thoughts like this, even though I only recently returned to the Church. Any advice?
It struck me that you said, “I have a real problem controlling thoughts like this, even though I only recently returned to the Church.” The reason it stuck out at me is because, in my experience, spiritual pride can follow a return to the Church. Kind of like “hey, I’m doing this spiritual thing why can’t you?” attitude. But that attitude falls within human nature and can come out in other areas of life as well, not just spirituality.
I’m telling you every time I get all “high and mighty” and think I’ve got everything figured out, God has a way of giving me a spiritual “kick in the pants” through grace as if to say, “Hey, you are becoming too prideful in your ways…humble yourself because you need my help in all things”. It happened to me last night before I read the Sunday Gospel. That reading was a real eye opener just when I needed it most.
Remember Jesus’ Teaching on the Pharisee that stood by the altar claiming how holy he was and dismissing others for not being as he?
That’s your first issue; rather than thinking/correcting others (using yourself as a template) check the act with God’s Will; if the act is devastating to the soul (as too many of the programs (telecast/on-line/games/video…) are today, take time to address your concerns with those around you. Don’t set yourself as the goal (since you could very well be/become guilty of the same or graver error) but God’s Command for Righteousness. Regardless upon the outcome, pray (both for yourself and others) so that the Holy Spirit may Grant the Power to give up the unrighteous act/s.
…you also must search yourself… is the issue only with the contents of what your parents were watching or, as you’ve hinted, with their religious belief?
Neither Catholics nor non-Catholics can use their religious affiliation as an umbrella. Jesus demanded that His Disciple’s Righteousness be greater than that of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and masters of the Law–by their own understanding these religious people thought of themselves as closer to God than everyone else… Jesus rejected their convictions. The same goes for us. Our Righteousness must be greater than others (Catholic and non-Catholic alike).
Begin (the quest you seek) by correcting yourself (thoughts and acts); get actively involved in a prayerful life; preach with both your example and with the Word… but mostly, as St. James stated: “Be doer of the Word, not just listener!”
It’s actually a sign of spiritual immaturity and that is something that will be outgrown over time. I sometimes look back on my own preening in the early days of living a serious Catholic life and roll my eyes at my foolishness but then move on. Please don’t beat yourself up too much over this. It’s good that you see this error and you are open to God’s correction. You will outgrow it, stay humble and thank God for His gentle guidance because it is He who has shown you this error
ETA: yes, do confess this. Pride is a serious sin but in this case I don’t know that this is a mortal sin, you did recognize your error and stop. The priest can help with this.
This is good advice. I know exactly how you feel. “Oh no! Not everyone in the world is Catholic!” :rolleyes: That’s the unfortunate reality I’m still coming to grips with.
Remember to work on your own soul first. It’s a huge evangelization pitfall to see other people as “conversion projects”, if you will. Live the Catholic faith yourself, and you will evangelize naturally.
A complication: the sanctuary is under renovation next week, so I don’t know if Father is hearing confessions, so I don’t know whether to present myself for communion next week and at All Saint’s. I have a problem with anxiety/feelings of guilt but I was also away for a long time and my RCIA was brief and a long time ago, so I don’t trust my conscience either way.
…most parishes adapt for the Sacrament of Confession–just let your parish Priest know that you need the Sacrament (they would even make an off-schedule meeting); it could even take place in the sacristy…
PS: The Sacrament of Confession should be practiced regularly–that once a year rule applies to those to whom a Priest is not easily accessible (extreme rural areas, extreme persecution of Catholics, places where the Church must exist underground).