Spiritual Pride / Judging Others


I think I have a problem with spiritual pride. I had a “conversion of the heart” experience about a year ago, before which I had been a nominal/cultural Catholic, and after which I became convinced that Catholicism is the Truth and holds the keys to the meaning of life.

I have been blessed abundantly. My faith (and my understanding of the Faith) has grown by leaps and bounds.

Unfortunately, I think I’ve developed a spiritual pride of sorts. And I need people to help me out, and give me pointers.

I’m a college student involved with a campus Newman Center. It seems like some of my friends there have not been through this same “conversion of the heart” experience (yet). So every time I hear of a liturgical mistake (or misguided modification), or hear my fellow Catholics speak with less devotion than mine, or see Catholics sinning, or hear them questioning the Church’s teachings, I become judgmental, I think.

I’ve become a little discouraged with my Newman community even though they do great things. I guess I’m sensing a lack of fervor. Or is that just me being judgmental?

I don’t know. We’re all at different places on our spiritual journeys. I know that. But the students at Newman are supposed to be *the *Catholic leaders on campus. Shouldn’t we be working to inspire more conversions of hearts? And how can we do this?

How do I combat my spiritual pride? I know I’ve got to give people the benefit of the doubt more often. But how can I be more charitable in my thoughts about those at different places in their spiritual journeys – while at the same time trying to share the fruits of my faith with others?

I hope that makes sense!


Read the Wisdom literature. Take note of all that is written there.



I would most humbly read the Bible, and some of the Bible Commentaries that explain books like John, Romans, and Ephesians.

What you may conclude in reading the Word is that we have nothing to be prideful about - we had nothing to do with this, what you believe, and your faith, is the result of God’s love for you. The proper emotion is thankfulness and love, not pride…:love:


I understand where you’re coming from - I’ve battled a lot of spiritual pride, and during college especially. Something that was a big help to me was reading “Story of a Soul”, St. Therese’s autobiography. Her life and devotion are contageous, and there are many little “techniques” in the book as part of her little way that have helped me a great deal. And pray the Jesus prayer - “Jesus, holy son of God, have mercy on me a sinner” - frequently.


[quote=justbeinfrank]I’ve become a little discouraged with my Newman community even though they do great things. I guess I’m sensing a lack of fervor. Or is that just me being judgmental?

The first step to combating spiritual pride is to ask the questions you are posing here. Remember that Jesus told us to remove the beams from our own eyes before we try to deal with the motes in the eyes of others.

You must remember that everyone experiences the faith differently. The fervor you feel may be present but expressed differently in others. What you really need to do is focus on two things. First is your own spiritual journey. Second (in regard to the Newman community) is the good works that they do.

The result of this will be that you will not be judging the spirituality of others because you are focusing on your own spiritual journey. You will see those failings that you still have (as do we all) instead of seeing the failings of others. You will be able to see that we are all called to good works but in different ways and to different levels. We are not all called to be like Mother Teresa so we should not judge ourselves or other for failing to be like her. Follow your calling, let others follow theirs, and trust the Holy Spirit to do His own work in His own time.


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