Humility of Heart – On the Vice of Pride

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Pictures are worth a thousand words. In this picture, you see a statue of Our Lord touching his Sacred Heart, his beloved Foster and his Blessed Mother. But when you step back and look at the bigger picture, the surroundings, you see the Church is in complete ruin. So it is with pride. Pride is the mother of all sins. It was pride that made Satan fall from Heaven like lightning. It will blind a soul to truth.

Fr. Cajetan Mary Da Bergamo wrote on the vice of pride in his book Humility of Heart stating:

“Saint Thomas defines pride as an inordinate affection against right reason, by which man esteems himself and desires to be esteemed by others above that which he really is; and as this affection is opposed to right reasoning, it is certainly a sin which partakes of the gravity of a mortal sin, because it is in direct opposition to the virtue of humility, and Saint Paul puts the proud in the same category as those whom “God delivered up to a reprobate sense and are worthy of death,” although sometimes it is only a venial sin, when the reason is not sufficiently enlightened or there is not full consent of the will.” (Bergamo, 1944)

Fr. Cajetan Mary Da Bergamo explains how pride is one of the most deadly sins:

“Pride is placed among the deadly sins, because it is from pride that so many other sins are derived, and that is why St. Paul, seeing the innumerable wickednesses of the world, called them to the notice of his disciple Timothy, saying: “Look how many are haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents love for their neighbour or for God. From whence do you suppose all these vices derive their origin?

“This is the source: the inordinate love which every one has for himself. “Men are lovers of themselves.” This is the explanation which St. Paul gives to it, and as St. Augustine observes, “All these evils flow from the source which he first mentions — self-love,” and as the same saint says, “This excess of self-love is only pride.

Therefore we can conclude from this that whoever overcomes pride overcomes a whole host of sins; according to the explanation given by St. Gregory of this text of Job: “He smelleth the battle afar off, and the shouting of the army.” (Bergamo, 1944).

Fr. Cajetan Mary Da Bergamo continues to explain further why “Pride holds the first place among the deadly sins” (Bergamo, 1944):

“St. Thomas not only places it amongst the deadly sins, but above them, as transcending them all, the king of vices which includes in his cortege all the other vices, therefore it is called in holy Scripture: “The root of all evil ,”“The beginning of all sin!” because as the root of the tree is hidden under the earth and sends all its strength up into the branches, so pride remains hidden in the heart and secretly influences every sin through its action. Therefore whenever we commit a mortal sin, wearein reality opposing arid directing our own will against the will of God.” (Bergamo, 1944).

We end with the beginning, with a quote from Fr. Cajetan Mary Da Bergamo that sums up Humility of Heart:

“In Paradise there are many Saints who never gave alms on earth: their poverty justified them. There are many Saints who never mortified their bodies by fasting, or wearing hair shirts: their bodily infirmities excused them. There are many Saints too who were not virgins : their vocation was otherwise. But in Paradise there is no Saint who was not humble.” (Bergamo, 1944).

Humility of Heart is an excellent book for those who wish to study humility and live it.

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Bergamo, C. (1944). Humility of heart. Westminster, MD: The Newman Bookshop, pp.182-185.

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