When is it okay to be proud?


Can I be “proud” of my Catholic faith? Can I be “proud” of my many years of marriage?


Theologically speaking, the term pride is used to describe an excessive or unjustified love for oneself and/or one’s accomplishments. Colloquially speaking, pride is used to signify pleasure or satisfaction in those things or persons that reflect well either on oneself or those related to that person. In the colloquial sense, when pride is justified and not excessive, there is nothing wrong with being proud of oneself or others.

But, getting back to the theological sense of pride, it is more spiritually edifying to cultivate a sense of gratitude rather than pride, particularly when it concerns those things that cannot be entirely credited to our own accomplishment. In the examples you gave, it would be better to say that one is grateful for the graces to be Catholic and to have had a successful marriage. Gratitude helps to foster a sense of humility because it focuses on others – such as God and family – rather than on oneself.

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