I Am Not Proud To Be A Catholic
Saint Alphonsus says: "The Lord does indeed regard the prayers of His servants, but only of His servants who are humble." Almost two decades ago a friend wrote a letter in which he said that we cannot have an ounce of pride in our selves and he was right. Proverbs (16:18) tells us: "Pride goeth before destruction: and the spirit is lifted up before a fall." The road to hell is paved with pride, where as the road of humility is the road to heaven.
To be proud of something is to be pleased with something we believe we have created. However, if we look closely at many of the things we take pride in, we will find that we did not create them, God did. For instance having a high IQ is not our own creation, but a gift from God, therefore we should not take pride in it. In fact, we should remember the Scripture: "And unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required: and to whom they have committed much, of him they will demand the more." (Luke 12:48) And God brought us into His Church to serve Him and our neighbor. The only thing we create is our own sin and sin is certainly not something to be proud of. In fact pride itself is a sin.
We need to purify our thinking and our speech and not take pride in anything. Rather let us thank God for these great gifts and then use them as He wishes us to use them.
Let us return to Saint Alphonsus: "He hath had regard to the prayer of the humble." [Ps. 101: 18] Others He does not regard, but rejects them: "God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble." [James 4: 6] He does not hear the prayers of the proud who trust in their own strength; but for that reason leaves them to their own feebleness; and in this state deprived of God's aid, they must certainly perish. David had to bewail this case: "Before I was humbled I offended." [Ps. 118: 67] I sinned because I was not humble."
Saint Alphonsus is telling us that God does not hear the proud, but only the humble. Let us remember that pride drives out humility and destroys our soul. We need to begin a study of humility so that we can acquire this great grace.
Jesus says: "Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls." (Matthew 11:29) This is why we should spend time in the Gospels so we can see how Jesus teaches us by deed and word. "Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) Jesus laid down His life for us who by sin are His enemies, not His friends. We should be prepared to lay down our life by living it in the spirit of martyrdom for Him.
The holy Cure of Ars, Saint John Vianney tells us: "pride produces every sin." When we say we are proud of something, we do not necessarily mean the sin of pride, but this is what has happened to us. The world is implanting false thinking into us by redefining words. We must walk away from this and remove these new definitions from our mind and not fall into the Operation of Error. (II Thessalonians 2:10) In things such as pride, we must stay with the Biblical meaning or we will not truly understand Sacred Scripture. "Pride goeth before destruction: and the spirit is lifted up before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18) Certainly we do not want this form of pride. We need to express ourselves in a different way. Should the great grace of salvation given to us through the Catholic Church humble us rather than exalt us. God has chosen me to be a Catholic. If this thought is not humbling, then we need to go to God and admit: "I am pride."
We have begun a project, which We call purity of thought. In this We are considering such as we are considering here, but this is the tip of the ice berg. The Operation of Error has been implanted in the world for decades, if not longer.
In order to purify our thinking, Saint Alphonsus says: "And above all, it is necessary to impress deeply on the mind certain fundamental spiritual maxims, such as: “God alone deserves to be loved. Sin is the only evil which we ought to hate. Whatever God wills is good. All worldly goods shall have an end. The most insignificant action, performed for God’s sake, is more profitable than the conversion of the whole world, effected from any other motive than the love of God. It is necessary to do what at the hour of death we would wish to have done. We ought to live on this earth as if there were nothing in existence but God and ourselves.” He whose mind is continually filled with holy maxims suffers little molestation from earthly objects, and is always strong enough to resist his corrupt inclinations. The Saints kept their souls always occupied with the truths of eternity, and thus in the time of temptation, were almost insensible to the goods or the evils of this life."
Saint John Vianney also tells us: "Yes, dear brethren, the Evil Spirit is not afraid of our piety if we do not put humility as its foundation. The devil knows well that he can destroy that piety if he wants to." So let us put all thought of pride out of our minds. Let us not be proud of anything.
I am not proud to be a Catholic.