Praise over Pride
Pride. This is a word which has two very different, very competitive meanings. The first is a pride of lions, who stick together and function like a family. The second, as stated by Google, "a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired". How can one word bring us to two very different paths- togetherness versus self-achievement?
In our world today, it is so hard to become enwrapped in 'me,me, me' and how I can better myself. Even in doing good deeds for the community, we hold up our deeds higher than we should, and pride reveals itself. How do we overcome pride? We're all human, and pride is a human trait which is very common, even in very good, self-giving people.
In today's Gospel, Jesus shows us how we as people of faith are supposed to live our lives. He heals a woman who is haemorrhaging, though unintentionally, just by her touching him. When she praises him, he says, "'Who touched me?'" And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had been done to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease" (Mark 5:31-34). Jesus then proceeds to heal a young girl who had just died. After he heals her, it says: "And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat" (Mark 5:43). Jesus does not want to be admired for his deeds. For the woman, he wants her to realize her own faith healed her. For the girl, he just wanted her to have life and did a good deed of healing.
Jesus is a model for us when it comes to living a good life as a Catholic, avoiding pride and self-righteous thoughts, but by helping others for the good of helping, and by showing others that they are just as good as us, and better by having faith. To be less filled with pride, it is important to help those around us, and to let trust in the Holy Spirit to guide us each day. This song by Francesca Battistelli "Holy Spirit", can help us to prepare for each day, by giving ourselves to God, letting the Holy Spirit work in us throughout the day, and let every deed we do be done not for ourselves, but for God and the good of the Church.
Today's prayer comes from "Inspirational Prayers, a Prayer for Pride:
You are the God above all gods. Your name is Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. You sit on the throne of heaven. When YOU speak, who dare change your plans? When YOU move, who dare stop you?
Lord, I have knowingly and I have ignorantly come against your will and your ways. I have spoken words of total surrender to you, and yet I have been so ready to protect myself from godly advice and godly change. I have been so ready to defend myself against humility.
Open my eyes to the blessings of humility. Let me not see humility as the world sees it, but in its beauty and fullness of joy.
I am comforted with the knowledge that you are full of mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and love.