Pride: Part 4

 

Pride: Part 4

Her Heel

 

“…I will put enmity between thee and the woman,

and thy seed and her seed: 

she shall crush thy head,

and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel….”

(Gen: 3:15)

 

She Shall Crush

The Spirit

 

 

of

 

Pride

 

as taught by

 

God the Father in His Words

Our Lord Jesus Christ in His Lessons

Our Lady of Emmitsburg in her Messages

The Saints of the Church

and in

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

(Compiled by Michael T. Sullivan, MD)

Introduction

“..It is pride that changed angels into devils;

it is humility that makes men as angels.”

(St. Augustine)

 

God has a Plan.  His Plan was a pure and holy Plan—a plan devoid of sin.  However, in His generosity He gave both angels and man free will—a gift which allowed for selfishness to enter into the world and alter His Plan.  Sin was able to establish its reign, and its roots penetrated the very core of the angelic spirits as well as of humanity.  Pride is the very root of all sin.

 

PRIDE is defined “as an inordinate esteem of oneself. It is inordinate because it is contrary to the truth. It is essentially an act or disposition of the will desiring to be considered better than a person really is. Pride may be expressed in different ways: by taking personal credit for gifts or possessions, as if they had not been received from God; by glorying in achievements, as if they were not primarily the result of divine goodness and grace; by minimizing one's defects or claiming qualities that are not actually possessed; by holding oneself superior to others or disdaining them because they lack what the proud person has; by magnifying the defects of others or dwelling on them. When pride is carried to the extent that a person is unwilling to acknowledge dependence on God and refuses to submit his or her will to God or lawful authority, it is a grave sin. The gravity arises from the fact that a person shows contempt for God or of those who take his place. Otherwise, pride is said to be imperfect and venially wrong….

“While not all sins are pride, it can lead to all sorts of sins, notably presumption, ambition, vainglory, boasting, hypocrisy, strife, and disobedience. Pride strives for perverse excellence. It despises others and, depending on its perversity, even looks down upon God.” (Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary)

 

 

“…When pride comes, then comes disgrace;

but with humility comes wisdom….”

(Prov 11:2)

 

 

 

 

Pride looks down on God because it envies His glory, His power and His authority.  Let us explore the Words of God the Father, Lessons of Our Lord and the Messages of Our Lady of Emmitsburg regarding the antidote for pride--Humility.

 

 

Humility

“…I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy.

For thou hast regarded my humility,

thou hast saved my soul out of distresses….”

(Ps 30:8)

 

The Modern Catholic Dictionary defines “HUMILITY” as the moral virtue that keeps a person from reaching beyond himself. It is the virtue that restrains the unruly desire for personal greatness and leads people to an orderly love of themselves based on a true appreciation of their position with respect to God and their neighbors.  (Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary)

 

It is a part of our human nature to develop defense mechanisms to help us deal with many of our imperfections, weaknesses and behaviors.  Sometimes these can be healthy, but other times they can be harmful and self-deceptive. Our Lord in His Lessons to the world through Gianna Talone Sullivan provides an example of this when He expands on how we so often use our pride and ego to prevent us from encountering our much needed humility:

 

“…Are you so impor­tant that you need guards surrounding your pride and ego, preventing any risk of meeting humility? Do not jeopardize your destiny by escaping the Truth. …Pay attention to Me and My words in humility. Do not allow your time to pass, for that is risking your security by not coming to Me in humility. I am speaking about self-conceit, lack of sincerity, lack of truth, dishonesty, lack of dignity, mercilessness, uncompassionate self-injury and self-destruc­tion through synthetic chemicals….”   (JOM, Vol IV, #8, Nov. 11, 1991)

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ was expected to be a worldly savior to rescue the Jews from persecution and domination by their Roman conquerors.  He did not need to be born into poverty in a most humble way.  He did not need to live a wanting life in regards to worldly comforts.  He did not even need to be born of a woman and to come into the world as a Child.  He could have come in all His glory to save the world without suffering and to reign as King.  But He did not!

 

“…What will be the crown of those who,

humble within and humiliated without,

have imitated the humility of our Savior in all its fullness?”

(St. Bernadette Soubirous, 1844-1879)

 

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

525      Jesus was born in a humble stable, into a poor family.  Simple shepherds were the first witnesses to this event. In this poverty heaven’s glory was made manifest.  The Church never tires of singing the glory of this night:

The Virgin today brings into the world the Eternal

And the earth offers a cave to the Inaccessible.

The angels and shepherds praise Him

And the magi advance with the star,

For You are born for us,

Little Child, God eternal!

 

God the Father in His Words to the world reminds us that His Son was a gift to humanity, an explosion of Light.  If we will accept this explosion of Light, with it will come the Peace and the Power of God.  If we desire it not, we will be left with only what humanity has to offer.  With it will come change, a change that will allow each of us to move forward toward our Creator.  Without it,………..?

 

“…I, your Father, love you, come to you and bless you.  I give you everything that is good.  I am your Creator, desiring you to be created for the fulfillment of the ultimate Truth---that being My Son, Whom I gave to you unreservedly to be martyred, to be completely humiliated, to be beaten until nearly His last breath, and then to carry His own Cross to His execution which would be your freedom.

 

“This explosion of Light is the Love of God! ….It is a step beyond, yet a step before an enlightenment, when all shall know and will have to choose.  This Light is a Light of Love---an invitation.

 

“And how do you prepare?  Perhaps it’s best to look within, within your wounds, within life, and within your relationships and friendships.  Look at how you want and desire to live.  If it is at peace, you shall attain Peace.  If it is with power, you shall fight the forces of humanity for this power.  If it is with the Power of God, most dignified and loving, then you shall embrace humility.  If it is in the Truth, you shall stand by the Truth until death.  If it is a surrendering and abandonment, then you shall be fulfilled most abundantly and will be led at all levels to become a pillar of Light and an ambassador of Peace, a lamp that shall never be extinguished.  And all shall move forward towards you for change, counseling and strength….”   (GTF, Jan 8, 2008)

 

The Gift of Humility
“…Every best gift, and every perfect gift, is from above,

coming down from the Father of lights,

with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration….” 

(James 1:17)

 

Our Lord is a teacher, the greatest of all teachers.  He affirms that humility is a gift—a supernatural gift, not an attribute of our human nature.  For it to be fruitful in us we must first desire to accept it, but that is not possible without an open heart.  Our Lord is offering each of us His Whole Being, but that will involve giving our whole being to Him and to others.  How many of us are truly willing to do that?  How many of us have the openness of heart required to do that?  None of us, unless we desire that grace from God!  And for God to provide that grace, it will take a process of purifying and cleansing, both of which so often prove to be the obstacles to stop, or at least delay, the entire process.  Then, as usual, we remain both the problem and the stalled solution:

 

“My dear one, I wish to teach you now about humility. Humility can only be given after the heart has been opened. I cannot give the gift of humility unless the heart is open and willing to accept it, for humility is accepting all that is given graciously and with unconditional love. It is helping others and giving of yourself.

 

“Humility is allowing Me to grant you everlasting life through the gift of others. It is accepting all of that which I give to you. To receive My gifts, it is necessary to have an open heart.

 

“Humility is a great gift, because humility is giving unto Me totally. It is I Who give unto you My whole being totally. This is humility—accepting with unconditional love all that I bring to you through your open heart! It is giving Me your whole being totally by giving yourself to others in need of My Love and Mercy. That is why it is such a gift! By helping others in need of My Love and My Mercy, you are sharing in My Love and My Mercy.

 

“Humility is a gift which shall be granted to all who come to me with an open heart and request to live in My Love and in My Mercy. Humility:  the mercy of unconditional love!...”   (JOM, Vol 1, #49, April 8, 1989, Humility)

 

“…Very few of My people have joy in their Savior.  I desire all to come to Me in praise and rejoicing.  I do not desire My people to be filled with sorrow or sadness.  As I purify and cleanse My people there are emotions and sentiments of self-pity, sadness and sorrow.  But I do not want My people to be distraught by these sentiments but instead rejoice, be glad and have hope.  The pride must be stripped in order that humility can replace it….”   (JOM, Volume IV Lesson #43, July 29, 1992, The Only Way)

 

“…To be taken with love for a soul,

God does not look on its greatness,

but the greatness of its humility….”

(St. John of the Cross, OCD, 1542-1591)

 

Sainthood

“…And God, who searches the heart,

knows what is the mind of the Spirit,

because the Spirit intercedes for the saints

according to the Will of God….”

(Rom 8:27)

 

In spite of the inertia, blindness and cluelessness that so much of humanity has to the existence of God and what He is so willing to give all of us, not only in this life, but eternally, Our Lord in His Lessons tells us that He is still calling each of us to be saints, and that it is even possible!  But we have to ask, and then the molding process can begin:

 

“…It is My hope with this Lesson that all My chosen will recognize My call for them to be true and real "saints," inwardly and externally!  It is a call, not to act saintly, but to be authentic!  It is possible.

 

“My hope for My people is that they will hear My words with their hearts and ask Me!  All they need to do is ask Me!  All they need to do is ask.  Those who choose to ridicule and slander the words I have spoken to each heart and who choose recognition through worldly props, such as money, choose to walk with Satan.  There are many empty seats on My Throne because many of My people have not believed that I extended an invitation to them to be My saints.  There are now still available spaces for saints to come, if My people believe sainthood is attainable through humility and lack of pride!  It is not their humanness I want, My child, it is their souls.

 

“Sainthood awaits all who desire it and reflect their love for My Father through genuine humbleness and elimination of self-pride!  The way to this journey is to simply ask without ambivalence.  I shall mold them according to each soul!...” (JOM, Vol II, #12, Dec. 4, 1989, Sainthood)

 

“…And now, O Lord, thou art our father, and we are clay;

and thou art our maker, and we all are the works of thy hands….”

(Is 64:8)

 

The Mother of His Son

" The Mother of God explained to St. Bridget

what her mantle was, saying:

"Come, my daughter, and hide thyself under my mantle;

this mantle is my humility.…

(My) humility would be of no avail

except to those who endeavored to imitate it….

Therefore, my daughter, clothe thyself with this humility."

(St. Bridget of Sweden, +1373)

 

God the Father could have accomplished this Plan of Salvation without human assistance, but rather He chose to raise the very dignity of our human nature by using the Blessed Virgin Mary, His most perfect of all creations, the Queen of all saints, to make it possible for His dearly beloved Son to share in all aspects of that human nature, except sin. By proceeding in this way, God has provided the ultimate demonstration of Love, a love that we are invited to accept and to share with all His children.

 

“…Nothing gives me greater joy than to hear

that my children are walking in the Truth….”

(3 Jn 1:4)

 

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

526      To become a child in relation to God is the condition for entering the kingdom. For this, we must humble ourselves and become little. Even more: to become “children of God” we must be “born from above” or “born of God.” Only when Christ is formed in us will the mystery of Christmas be fulfilled in us. Christmas is the mystery of this “marvelous exchange”:

O marvelous exchange! Man’s Creator has become man, born of the Virgin. We have been made sharers in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share our humanity….

721      Mary, the all-holy ever-virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time. For the first time in the plan of salvation and because his Spirit had prepared her, the Father found the dwelling place where his Son and his Spirit could dwell among men. In this sense the Church’s Tradition has often read the most beautiful texts on wisdom in relation to Mary.  Mary is acclaimed and represented in the liturgy as the “Seat of Wisdom.” In her, the “wonders of God” that the Spirit was to fulfill in Christ and the Church began to be manifested:

722      The Holy Spirit prepared Mary by his grace. It was fitting that the mother of him in whom “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” should herself be “full of grace.” She was, by sheer grace, conceived without sin as the most humble of creatures, the most capable of welcoming the inexpressible gift of the Almighty. It was quite correct for the angel Gabriel to greet her as the “Daughter of Zion”: “Rejoice.”  It is the thanksgiving of the whole People of God, and thus of the Church, which Mary in her canticle lifts up to the Father in the Holy Spirit while carrying within her the eternal Son. 

723      In Mary, the Holy Spirit fulfills the plan of the Father’s loving goodness. Through the Holy Spirit, the Virgin conceives and gives birth to the Son of God. By the Holy Spirit’s power and her faith, her virginity became uniquely fruitful.

724      In Mary, the Holy Spirit manifests the Son of the Father, now become the Son of the Virgin. She is the burning bush of the definitive theophany. Filled with the Holy Spirit she makes the Word visible in the humility of his flesh. It is to the poor and the first representatives of the gentiles that she makes him known.

 

 “…When Our Lady says in the Magnificat that

‘all generations shall call her blessed,

because God hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden,’

she means that He has accepted her abjection and lowliness

in order to fill her with graces and favors….”

(St. Francis de Sales, 1567-1622)

 

With an authority that rests in God the Father alone, in His Words to the world He speaks to all humanity about the role of Our Lady, the example she sets for all of us, eternal value of her fiat, the consequences of failing to listen to her and of trying to change the Truth, and finally, the necessity of His Divine intervention again, in a most extraordinary and merciful way, at this most critical time in salvation history:

 

“…Truly there is a lack of wisdom and a lack of humility on your part for not being able to see with the eyes of the heart the gift that has been handed to you.  Here you have the treasure of my Son's Mother who pleads your cause on your behalf, determined that all might be brought safely and freely to eternal rest.  Look to her and she will plead your cause, because in her humility, she knows the gift of Life.  O' how fortunate you are, children of humanity, to have been given such a treasure who so often is taken for granted, overlooked, and dismissed with indifference and ingratitude.  How fortunate you are for her "fiat"!   (GTF, Jan 8, 2006)

 

“…I look down upon you in graciousness because of this great Queen, a most pure and holy servant of the Throne of God, Immaculate in all ways, who looks only to cleanse you, to purify you, and to bring you to the Throne.  Her cloak of humility is one that speaks volumes and volumes of Truth and enlightenment.  It tells the entire story, chapter by chapter, of your lives.

 

“Yet, here she is, so pure and humble.  It would behoove you to look with graciousness, humility and with all due respect to her in thanksgiving that she, through her "fiat", has been moved to graciously receive the Word of God in her womb.  The Son of Man came forth to suffer and to purify and to die for you because of Love. 

 

“All has come because of her one "fiat".  All can join in this "fiat".  You can say "yes" as this pure virgin said "yes".  You are graced and can accomplish all that was offered to her through your free will….”   (GTF, May 8, 2006)

 

“…My sweet beloved Mary, a humble servant and spouse to the Holy Spirit, continues to hold back the sword of the Angel, preventing it from striking and revealing the bowls of purification.  However, even my sweet Mary could not do this unless I allowed her, for I have been a patient and loving God.  But now, without revealing a time or a date or a place, I will forewarn humanity to take a cautious look at your very selves. Tell me, "What have you done to desecrate My Sanctuary?"  And, "What have you done to repent, as you continue to ignore My Words, the Words of my Blessed Son and those of My dearly beloved Mary?  As you continue to ignore them, you continue to entice yourselves and become blind to the Truth. 

 

“If you followed the Word of the Gospel of My Son, there would be no need for any prophet or seer.  There has never been so great a prophet or seer or leader as my beloved John the Baptist, no other above him except for My Son.  But humanity has not followed the Word of the Gospel and has not responded as requested.  Humanity is not living My Words and praying as My beloved Mary has asked.

 

“What will it take for the children of humanity to realize that their focusing on their petty ways and their ignoring and dismissing the Words of My Son and My beloved Mary, cannot continue without consequence? …

 

“….Foolishness arises when people try to change the Truth.  It only reflects selfishness, lack of knowledge, lack of humility and lack of respect for the Truth….”    (GTF, July 8, 2006)

 

“…Yet, as a Merciful Father, I listen and I will intervene….”  

(GTF, Jan 8, 2006)

 

“…Truth is lacking, and whoever turns from evil is despoiled.

The Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice.
 He saw that there was no one,
and was appalled that there was no one to intervene;
so His own arm brought him victory,
 and His righteousness upheld him….”

(Is 59:15-16)

 


 

The Humility of Our Lady

Mother Teresa of Calcutta is a modern day saint and extraordinary example of Christian humility and service for us all.  She wrote of Our Lady:

 

“The greatness of Our Lady was in her humility. 

No wonder Jesus wanted to live so close to her. 

We learn from Him and from her one lesson: 

To be meek and humble of heart.”

(St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, 1910-1997)

 

It is not surprising that one so humble as Our Lady should speak so little about her own holiness, but rather much more about that which she, our Mother, desires to share with her human family:

 

          Our Lady of Emmitsburg:

“…I am a mother, full of grace.  I have extended my hand to you.  I have presented my Most Adorable and Merciful Son to you.  You all possess the same Spirit of Grace that God has gifted you.  Why then do you tear one another apart?  Why is there not harmony and unity?  My Son’s Peace is that of holiness and justice.  You do not realize the tears, the penance and the sacrifices made at a  price for your existence….My Merciful Son has allowed me to distribute graces to you.  I have a duty as a Mother to warn, to challenge, to protect and to draw all people to God.  Please, receive these graces while I am still allowed….”    (Public OLOE, July 13, 2008)

 

“My soul does magnify the Lord;

my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.

For He has regarded the humility of His handmaid;

for behold, from now on will all generations call me blessed.

The Mighty one has done great things for me, and holy is His Name….”

(Lk 1:46-49)

 

Yes, God did regard the humility of His most perfect handmaid, Mary, and did great things for her, but those things are not reserved for her alone.  She is not one to hoard God’s generosity; and as our Mother, she rejoices over and over in her maternal mediation in dispensing all God’s graces to her spiritual children.  She is very aware of the importance of this time in salvation history and the change that is fast approaching for all humanity.  Our Lady of Emmitsburg encourages us to embrace our weaknesses so as to fully experience God’s Mercy now, rather than wait to see what we might have gained when it is too late.  And finally, she does not shy away from the fact that this is the Center of her Immaculate Heart, unique in God’s Plan to usher in an “Era of Peace!”

 

“Little ones, this is the time in salvific history when the proud shall be confounded and the ‘little,’ the little ones, those who to many people seem insignificant, shall rise to the Throne of God and make known His wishes to the world.  It is the time when humility must take the place of pride.  Those who are humble shall confuse those who are well learned.  Those who think that they have the God-given gifts of knowledge and wisdom may very well stumble and fall.  This is a very important moment in history, a moment when things will change.  All this time of preparation, suffering, confusion, struggle, interior turmoil and distractions will come together and fit like a puzzle….(Private OLOE, Oct. 7, 2003)

 

“…Rejoice when your weaknesses are highlighted….The more faults and humiliations you bear, the more you should seek comfort in my Son’s Mercy….You will grow in humility when your faults and imperfections surface…My Son does not desire you to sin, yet He does not desire you to despair due to pride and refuse His Mercy….His Divine perfections are full of radiant love, and He knows your frailty.  Trust in my Son.  Do not fear….Turn to Him, seek His Mercy, and do not fear.  Have an unshakable confidence….”  (Public OLOE, Jan 23, 1997)

 

“What you have is a beautiful gift….You seek humility…I tell you that the world will know, at the point when God desires, the authenticity and validity of what they could have received, but through their pride chose to walk away from because of fear of being deceived.  It is better for everyone to join now and to live the good fruits faithfully, as you are doing through my words, than to be presumptuous and righteous in thinking they know otherwise….”  (Private OLOE, April 26, 2006)

 

"…I cannot over emphasize the importance of humility and of not boasting, of not allowing pride to enter into your hearts and minds, of not passing all error off to someone else, and of being open to this the Center of my Immaculate Heart for all peoples of all faiths.  Until there is true Peace, real lasting Peace, do not think for one instant you have gained it, because the true and lasting Peace can only be given from above….?  (Public OLOE, April 12, 2003)

 

“…I want you to be wise as to what is good, and simple as to what is evil;

then the God of Peace will quickly crush Satan under your feet….”

(Rom 16: 20)

 

 

The Spirit of Pride, Part 4

The End

 

Humility is the foundation of all other virtues. 

Hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist,

there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.”

(St. Augustine of Hippo, 354-430)