Thursday, August 10, 2006

Thought For The Day

This week I've been driving around A LOT. I've been spending my time listening to some great audio sets. Yesterday, I listened to a Scott Hahn lecture and this great quote has been ringing in my ears since I heard it:

"God opposes the proud--even when they are right."

Would that we all could keep that in mind!

In connection with this, I went back and read Thomas' treatment of "Pride" (ST IaIIae, q. 84, a. 2):

...(Sirach 10:15): "Pride is the beginning of all sin." For it is evident that he is speaking of pride as denoting inordinate desire to excel, as is clear from what follows (verse 17): "God hath overturned the thrones of proud princes"; indeed this is the point of nearly the whole chapter. We must therefore say that pride, even as denoting a special sin, is the beginning of every sin. For we must take note that, in voluntary actions, such as sins, there is a twofold order, of intention, and of execution. In the former order, the principle is the end, as we have stated many times before (1, 1, ad 1; 18, 7, ad 2; 15, 1, ad 2; 25, 2). Now man's end in acquiring all temporal goods is that, through their means, he may have some perfection and excellence. Therefore, from this point of view, pride, which is the desire to excel, is said to be the "beginning" of every sin. On the other hand, in the order of execution, the first place belongs to that which by furnishing the opportunity of fulfilling all desires of sin, has the character of a root, and such are riches; so that, from this point of view, covetousness is said to be the "root" of all evils, as stated above (1).


Michael Joseph said...

Great quote from Thomas!

It reminds me of how those of us in the business of theology can easily fall into the snares of pride. I recall when I first dug into apologetics years back how prideful I was in my encounters with non-Catholic Christians. Looking back, I think my attitude at the time was far from that of John the Baptist. Without explicitly thinking it, I believe my approach was a "Let Christ I increase!".

While I do not wish to condemn or judge, perhaps pride is at the root of those more recent criticisms of apologetics and even of Dr. Hahn's works by some scholars. I am thinking most especially of Rausch over at Loyola Marymount, and of the article in America magazine on the "new apologetics." Some in the academy seem to be threatened when Catholics without Ph.D.'s have the kind of impact at the parish level that they can only dream about. And to this day it baffles me why Hahn is not more appreciated by often do we find an individual who can communicate effectively both with his peers in academia and with the non-specialist in the pew?

Evangelical Catholicism

Jeff said...

Pride is more like the trunk of the tree of evil. Pride by definition is: Unreasonable and inordinate self-esteem (personified as one of the deadly sins). Thinking of yourself first or being selfish is the root. Pride is the trunk from the root of selfish. Take for example Adam's fear of death. Adam's fear for his life is selfish. Fear is selfish. Fear at it's root is what? All fear is about what is or may happen to who? Yourself. Only through Jesus that we can see how selfish we are. Only through Jesus are we able to free ourselves from ourselves. By defeating death and unselfishly giving Himself over to death, Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane shows us all how to defeat death or being selfish. Being selfish is death. Great Blog!

Danny Garland Jr. said...

I love listening to Dr. Hahn's tapes. I've listened to almost every one in the JPII Library!