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The Pope Speaks on PRIDE

(TAKEN FROM THE HOLY FATHER’S CATECHESIS ON VICES AND VIRTUES AT THE WEDNESDAY GENERAL AUDIENCE, STARTING IN DECEMBER, 2023.)

In our catechesis on the virtues and the vices, we now turn to pride, the first of the capital sins and, for the ancient writers, “the queen of all vices”. Indeed, the sin of pride hides an even greater sin: the absurd pretension to be like God.

The sin of our first ancestors, recounted in the book of Genesis, is for all intents and purposes a sin of pride. It is an evil with an obvious physical appearance: the proud man is haughty, he has a “stiff neck,” that is, he has a stiff neck that does not bend. He is a man easily led to scornful judgment: with no reason, he passes irrevocable judgments on others, who seem to him hopelessly inept and incapable.

There is little one can do with a person suffering from pride. It is impossible to talk to them, much less correct them, because ultimately they are no longer present to themself. One just has to be patient with them, because one day their edifice will collapse. An Italian proverb goes, “Pride goes on horseback and comes back on foot”.

In the Gospels, Jesus deals with a lot of proud people, and he often exposed this vice even in people who hid it very well. Salvation comes through humility, the true remedy for every act of pride. In the Magnificat, Mary sings of the God who by his power scatters the proud in the sick thoughts of their hearts. It is useless to steal anything from God, as the proud hope to do, because after all he wants to give us everything.