EVELYN UNDERHILL THROUGH LENT: A Letter To A Friend — Pride by Evelyn Underhill

March 10, 2015

From The Letter of Evelyn Underhill To the alarming list of innate vices which you have managed to get together I should like to add another: Pride.  All this preoccupation with your own imperfection is not humility, but an insidious form of spiritual pride.  What do you expect to be?  A saint?  There are desperately few of them: and even they found their faults, which are the raw material of sanctity remember, take a desperate lot of working up.  You know best when and how you fall into these various pitfalls.  Try and control yourself when you see the temptation coming.  (Sometimes you will succeed, which is so much to the good.)  Pull yourself up and make an act of contrition when you catch yourself doing any of the things. [...]

SIN: Pride by Gore Vidal

October 28, 2014

From Deadly Sins Is pride a sin at all?  The Oxford English Dictionary strikes a primly English note: “A high or overweening opinion of one’s own qualities, attainments or estate,” or too clever by half, the ultimate put-down in those bright arid islands where ignorance must be lightly worn. Apparently, the Romans and the Greeks had other, by no means pejorative, words for it.  The quintessential Greek, Odysseus, reveled in being too clever by any number of halves.  Of course, neither Greeks nor Romans had a word for sin, a Judeo-Christian concept that the Germans did have a word for, Sunde, which Old English took aboard.  Obviously, in any time and place an overweening person is tiresome, but surely laughter is [...]

LENT: Thursday of the Second Week in Lent, by Henri J. M. Nouwen

February 28, 2013

From Show Me The Way I, Yahweh, search the heart, test the motives, to give each person what his conduct and his actions deserve. —Jeremiah 17:10 It is not so difficult to see that, in our particular world, we all have a strong desire to accomplish something.  Some of us think in terms of great dramatic changes in the structure of our society.  Others want at least to build a house, write a book, invent a machine, or win a trophy.  And some of us seem to be content when we just do something worthwhile for someone.  But practically all of us think about ourselves in terms of our contribution to life.  And when we have become old, much of our feelings of happiness or sadness depends on our evaluation of the part we played in giving [...]