Saint Josemaría

Daily texts

“When we hear pride spoken of...”

The higher a statue is raised, the harder and the more dangerous the impact when it falls. (Furrow, 269)

When we hear pride spoken of, perhaps we imagine it as despotic, domineering behaviour. We associate it with the clamour of the mob acclaiming the passing victor, who, like a Roman emperor, bows his head lest his glorious brow graze the white marble of the high triumphal arches.

But let us be realistic. This type of pride is found only in people with crazy imaginations. We have to fight against other forms of pride that are more subtle, and more frequent: against the pride of preferring our own excellence to that of our neighbour; against vanity in our conversations, thoughts and gestures; against an almost sickly touchiness that takes offence at words and actions that are in no way meant to be insulting.

All this can be, and is, a common temptation. A person can come to see himself as the sun and centre of all those around him. Everything must centre round himself. And to satisfy this unhealthy urge, the proud person will sometimes even fake pain, sadness or illness to attract attention so that others will make a fuss of him...

In this miserable mood everything makes him bitter and he tries to upset others also. All this because he doesn’t wish to be humble, because he hasn’t learned to forget himself in order to give himself generously in the service of others for the love of God. (Friends of God, 101)