Is it a sin of pride?


#1

I desperately needed $75 a few months back. I ended up asking the church for the money. The priest is not real fond of giving money to people who say they are in need. This past week when I was talking to him he told me I was not self-supporting because I got the $75 a few months ago. (Getting money from the church is not a habit with me. Including this time, I have done it twice in my lifetime.) I felt it was like a slap in the face. It was so humiliating to have to ask for money in the first place. Anyway, I apologized for borrowing the money and told him it would never happen again. If I ever get in a situation where I need money like that again I will go to a payday advance place. He told me that if I ever really, really need money again I should go to the church before going to the payday advance.

I really, really needed the money or I would never have gotten the money in the first place.

Now, I feel like it will be a cold day in hell before I ask the church for a dime. I don’t care how desperate I am, I will go to the payday advance or hock this computer before asking the church.

If I ignore what he said about going to the church first, will I commit a sin of disobedience? What about a sin of pride? Would it be a sin of pride to hock the computer first?


#2

Possibly this priest’s understanding of need is different from your own. One way or the other (“right” or “wrong”) he didn’t need to give you the impression that he was feeling superior to you. In the future, were I in real need (hocking the computer or TV would seem preferable to taking much needed food/shelter/warmth from other’s however a Payday loan…:confused:). You might contact another priest before need arises and while telling him what you needed the $75 for along with your full circumstances at the time, ask him for clarity/understanding. Even if it were for pride that you needed the money, your soul is the priests main concern (or should be, IMHO).


#3

I needed the $75 to take my disabled son to see his specialist in a city 150 miles away. I didn’t have the money for gas.:blush: I stretched every penny I could, but I just came up short that month.:frowning: I told him this when I asked for the money in the first place. I guess he felt that there should have been somebody else I could have borrowed the money from. But everybody in my family lives from paycheck to paycheck. They have families of their own to feed and take care of.

What I want to know is, is it a sin of pride to refuse ask the church for help? Even though he told me not to, I intend to go to the paycheck advance place the next time I get in a bind like that. Is this a sin?


#4

Galnextdoor,

Perhaps it’d be better to go to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul or Catholic Charities in your area. You’d get a warmer and more supportive response there. It seems reasonable to me that with the near $5 a gallon gas recently that someone who lives paycheck to paycheck could come up short. If you weren’t self-supporting, you’d be asking for money all the time. I really am at a loss as to why the priest made that comment. :shrug:

I would not go to one of those paycheck advance places. Their interest rates go way beyond usury. People have gotten into the hole with those places and can never catch up. Payday lenders lasted only a short while in Georgia before being made illegal, as they should be for how they take advantage of those in need. :mad: Payday lending is now a felony in Georgia.


#5

For myself, I would feel it a sin of pride if I didn’t talk to either that priest or another about the situation (sometimes using the internet does advance the sin of pride since it is faceless, however that’s not true all the time, at all). The sin I can see in refusing to ask the church for help if needed in the future, is that of “jumping to rash judgment” about the presumed mental response and motivation of the priest, if you have been a totally faithful steward of the resources He’s given you to use and not just paid for cable TV or whatever, rather than for your son’s appt. Also think about whether public transportation (bus, community transportation service that your son might be eligible for if he is recognized as disabled, etc.) might have been available and workable.
As far as it being a sin to use the paycheck advance place, no, if there are truly no other options however usually I see them as being a very poor financial move and one we need to avoid (generally) in order to steward the resources He’s let us use. In other words and as an example, unless you make your living via your computer, it seems to me to be better stewardship to hock your computer than to go to a paycheck advance place.
One other thought, I would think that the priest’s response (which seemed to have been delivered in a less than charitable way) may have had something to do with having been paid back or not, the last time (if at all possible).


#6

I’m curious. If you can afford a computer and an internet connection why would you be so desperate for money?


#7

It’s funny how when in comes to Christian Charity, the Catholics are the first to judge and the last to help.
I left an abusive husband six months ago. I took nothing but the kids beds and our clothing. Their father gave the kids this computer. As for the computer connection, it was free if I signed up for a telephone and basic cable.

I don’t need a telephone or cable, but my son is autistic. Two things that keep him pacified is tv and the computer. He is physically disabled as well. Someone gave me the analog tv. Should I sell it? This computer…my daughter is taking pre-college classes at school. The teachers make assignments where the student is required to search the internet, do powerpoint presentations, type papers etc. She doesn’t have a study hall and our public library only has 8 computers that you can use for 30 minutes at a time. (There’s usually a waiting line.) Their father is about to become homeless, because he quit his job and can’t make his house payment.
There is no Catholic Charities where I live. There is no St. Vincent DePaul. Because I own a vehicle, my son is not eligible for public transportation. It was seventy-five dollars. I have put that amount in the collection basket since I borrowed it.
I live from paycheck to paycheck. Almost everything I own was purchased at used stores. I buy my shoes and underwear new. The same goes for my son. My daughter works part time to pay for school fees and her own clothes.
I don’t buy steak or expensive fish or anything expensive. I have to buy special food for my son or he won’t eat. He is considered underweight for his height and age. There are times when I practically have to force feed him.
I keep my apartment clean, my kids get to school on time. They go to Catechism. My daughter volunteers for everything imaginable at church. I attend mass 3 times a week. I also do Eucharistic adoration.
I am disabled, but everyone I know compliments me on what a good mother I am. I don’t receive public housing or food stamps or welfare.
Do you think it’s okay now that I borrowed $75 from the church? Or should I be more destitute? My son has had major surgeries. Perhaps I should blow off his doctors’ appointments, before I ask for $75 from the church.

Don’t worry I don’t live in your parishes. The $75 didn’t come out of your pockets. Apparently, you feel the same way about helping someone out as Father does.

The sin that I was inquiring about was my proud attitude, not asking for $75.

As I said before, **hell will freeze over before I ask for single dime from the church again. **


#8

From what you told us, you are doing just fine. Don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. You can’t control the other person’s reaction, but God will certainly see how that person treats you. The Bible has some rather strong admonitions to help the poor.

I wish you were in my area. If you were, I would be happy to share what we have with your family. I will remember you and yours in our prayers tonight.

Paul


#9

Sometimes, sadly…but not always thank God…priests and religious can be disconnected from everyday realities and especially those of the poor, simply because they do not have to deal with these realities day in and day out as a matter of survival. Their basic needs and necessities are always present without problems …and if perchance not which is most rare and unusual, then The Church is certainly willing to help out…or I have even heard of religious actively seeking special donations for some ‘pressing’ need. The poor cannot ‘campaign’ in The Church for their pressing needs which are those of survival itself often.

I know of a person who was going through bankruptcy that was most distressing and she was advised to seek out the counselling of a religious sister supposedly involved in counselling. She was rather dreadfully upset even further as she was known to the Sister, who upraided her for allowing herself to get into a position of bankruptcy and that was the extent of the counselling she got. She was shocked and grieved over and above the situation she was in financially.

Another time a person I know borrowed $100 from a convent and it was given willingly enough. But quite sometime later she returned to pay back the money but got told “Don’t you worry about us, because The Lord will care for US”. She said that they way it was said she felt so ashamed and demeaned.

I know a few sad stories…but then I know some wonderful ones too. But the good stories, can never excuse in the very slightest the nasty stories especially where religious or priests may be involved. And by that very same token too, the nasty stories cannot be said to reflect all religious and priests.

Bethany here has a continual float of money to lend out if necessary interest free. Bethany is situated in a very poor area. I have never had any money not repaid - sometimes an extension of time to repay which is fine. If people did not pay back, which they do, I would soon have no money at all to be able to lend.

Barb:)


#10

Practically all posts did not defend the way the priest reacted, however until your last post your need was not evident, and that bore on the answer - the only way we could answer your question (which, although seeming to ask about sin - being a question that a priest is most qualified to answer - turned out to be an apparent excuse to berate another person, understandable as that may be):confused:
I’m beginning to be more understanding to the priest, tho’ his actions seem to be more abrupt than I would prefer.:shrug:


#11

Actually, my post was directed and you and Thistle. I was not asking about whether it was wrong to ask for money from the church. I know that what I did, I did for my son. I was not berating the priest, although most of the needy people in the parish have felt the hurt and embarrassment that I have. The priest told me not to go to the payday advance, but I intend to do just that the next time I need money. I was asking if these intentions were a sin of pride. I wasn’t asking to be judged as to whether I was worthy to receive the $75 in the first place. If you didn’t feel qualified to answer the question, you shouldn’t have answered it.


#12

Dear Gal,

I would say based on your responses here that there is a pride issue. This is evident in your hostile responses to people trying to help, and in your admission that the priest advised you not to do payday advance (wise advice) and you plan to do it anyways out of anger and hurt. Sounds like your pride is what was hurt more than anything.

Some help for that:
Litany of Humility

Mother Teresa gave these rules to her Sisters to help them develop the virtue of humility:

  1. Speak as little as possible about yourself.
  2. Keep busy with your own affairs and not those of others.
  3. Avoid curiosity.
  4. Do not interfere in the affairs of others.
  5. Accept small irritations with good humor.
  6. Do not dwell on the faults of others.
  7. Accept censures even if unmerited.
  8. Give in to the will of others.
  9. Accept insults and injuries.
  10. Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded.
  11. Be courteous and delicate even when provoked by someone.
  12. Do not seek to be admired and loved.
  13. Do not protect yourself behind your own dignity.
  14. Give in, in discussions, even when you are right.
  15. Always choose the more difficult task.

#13

I am truly sorry for the rant I went on above. I live a very stressful life like most people. It’s true I am prideful. It was extremely difficult to acknowledge that occasionally I need a helping hand. If Thistle and Brigid would find it in their hearts to forgive me, I would appreciate it. Please forgive me.
It was hard to face the fact that I had to borrow $75. You are right about me not being good steward of money. I should have never have borrowed the money from the church. Someone mentioned something about me taking money away from those who really need it. I can’t find the post now.

Although it will be very difficult to listen to my son cry for hours on end, I will have the cable and telephone shut off. My daughter can try to find a friend who has internet.

I have doctor bills that I haven’t been able to pay and the check engine light is on in my car. My tires are bald on my car, but I bought 5 presents a piece for my children for Christmas. I should have skipped the Christmas thing this year.

I feel terribly guilty for what I’ve done.

I should be more self-supporting. I am truly ashamed of my behavior. I felt hurt that Father brought up the fact, but he was right. I should have tried to find someone besides my family or the church I could borrow the money from. I will not borrow from the payday advance. I have my old wedding ring and a necklace that one of my daughter’s old boyfriends gave her. I will hock them. I also have a dvd player I could get $10 for. I also have a mother’s ring and a pearl ring my daughter gave me for Mother’s Day. These are all items I should have gotten rid of before going to the church. I will try to be a better steward of my finances.
I was hurt and angry and I lashed out. Please forgive me.

Trying to be a friend in Christ, but failing miserably,
The Gal next door


#14

A very courageous Post:thumbsup: …thank you for the witness and jolly good example!..Most all of us know what it is to make a total mess of things…to look back and think “how on earth and why on earth”. How did I get into the mess I did and why did I let it go that far. Probably not all of us though (and me for sure!) have been quite as honest with themselves as you have in your own self assessment of the situation and where you are and the why of it all.

Actually, I think we ought to be able to turn to our Church and community primarily if in trouble, any sort of trouble - including financial. This is the lesson of the Parable of the Good Samaritan and that of The Good Shepherd also - to mention only two. Either we are going to live the radical call of The Gospel, or we are not…“the lukewarm I vomit out of my mouth” - for there is no middle road that keeps us safe and comfortable, secure, unchallenged.
Apocalypse Chater 3
*

15

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold, nor hot. I would thou wert cold, or hot.
16 But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.
*

Barb:)


#15

in our parish the priest does not keep the discretionary money to give directly to those in need, all requests are referred to St. Vincent de Paul, who give until funds run out. If he gives personally it is from his own pocket, and because he is personally so generous, he seldom has much. Staff have been instructed not to give from personal funds to those who ask because of our center city location and the fact that at any given time there will be one or two elderly nuns or others working alone, and if it is known anyone in the office has money, they become a target. since this has happened it is a legitimate fear.

In OPs situation I think it might be much more helpful to sit down, discuss your entire situation with the priest, and ask his advice and help in ways that can provide more long-lasting support. If the parish does not have something in place to aid parishioners, usually St. Vincent, they are probably in direct opposition to what their bishop has commanded, but he may be able to refer you to someplace you can get long-term help.


#16

Good post in many ways!:thumbsup: The poor who come looking for help and assistance, or those in some sort of trouble, should be always treated with great dignity (it is The Lord, after all!) *

40

He that receiveth you, receiveth me: and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me…* and if one cannot help, then there is always somewhere that one can advise to contact where the person will be able to get the help they need.

I have a continual balance of money for lending and this has never ever been exploited or abused. Mind you those in this area do know that if someone should borrow and not repay, then the amount available to lend is reduced by that much. In fact rather than any sort of exploitation and abuse, word has gone out in the area (I have been told) that Bethany here is to be respected as a place where help and assistance can always be obtained in some way…and with respect and dignity always granted. Of course, I had problems right in the beginning - but I saw a need in this area as most were taking goods to money lenders and to get those goods out from money lenders they had to repay the loan with interest…and eventually all problems ironed themselves out here all on their own.
I live alone in a very poor area beset by every kind of serious social problem and crime…I have never been targeted in any way - and this I know is a real blessing. I decided long ago that if I was ever targeted, then I may need to make new decisions factoring in other facts then available. I consciously refused to make paranoid type decisions and call them prudence and wisdom, while realizing that I may well find out that I had been indeed imprudent and unwise and to learn the hard way…I was prepared to learn by my mistakes in the interests of trying to do something that was needed in this area.

…and I must add that it is ok for me, I have no other worries but Bethany here and what it means…

The Lord really does provide and very literally for His Works if we trust Him - rather than striving always to protect self interest primarily. And the more one very literally trusts, the more abundantly He will bless and bless…The Gospel and words of The Lord are not good advice, they are instructions left with us by Him…
Luke Chapter 12

21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich towards God. 22 And he said to his disciples: Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat; nor for your body, what you shall put on. 23 The life is more than the meat, and the body is more than the raiment. 24 Consider the ravens, for they sow not, neither do they reap, neither have they storehouse nor barn, and God feedeth them. How much are you more valuable than they? 25 And which of you, by taking thought, can add to his stature one cubit?
26 If then ye be not able to do so much as the least thing, why are you solicitous for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these. 28 Now if God clothe in this manner the grass that is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more you, O ye of little faith? 29 And seek not you what you shall eat, or what you shall drink: and be not lifted up on high. 30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek. But your Father knoweth that you have need of these things. *

[quote]*

[quote]31

[/quote]

  • But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you. 32 Fear not, little flock, for it hath pleased your Father to give you a kingdom. 33 Sell what you possess and give alms. Make to yourselves bags which grow not old, a treasure in heaven which faileth not: where no thief approacheth, nor moth corrupteth. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 35 Let your loins be girt, and lamps burning in your hands.

[/quote]

Barb:)


#17

…mind you and LOL here!..there can be much wisdom and freedom in consciously deciding very deliberately to avoid the direct jurisdiction of one’s Bishop or any other authority for that matter except The Lord…

At one point I had homeless teenagers living here and St. Vinnies supplied Bethany with no cost new foam mattresses which bowled me over. My pp at that time on finding out what was happening here said to me “I wish I could do something like that”. I asked him why he could not and he replied “The Archbishop would not let me”. That got my mind clicking over and some ‘wise and prudent’ :smiley: decisions made:rotfl: so that His Grace within reason could not tell me directly what I can and cannot do here … private vows avoid all that!:thumbsup:…and rather than avoiding the virtue of obedience, I am personally avoiding an apparent obedience, in my case, in order to be obedient…“man judges appearances, but The Lord knows the heart” (Book of Samuel)…

.


#18

I think the priest was way, way, WAY out of line.

If you need funds again, ask a different priest.

We frequently give our priest money for local people who need it, as a suplement to our local food bank and I’m sure he would NEVER have said anything like this…


closed #19

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