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Pride vs. Humility

Updated: Sep 8, 2022

In the Gospel reading for Sunday, September 4, 2022, Jesus spells out three conditions under which one cannot be his disciple:

1. “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple."

2. "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me

cannot be my disciple."

3. "Anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.”

Thomas Merton once said: Union with God "is a pure and selfless love that empties the soul of all pride and annihilates it in the sight of God, so that nothing may be left of it but the pure capacity for Him". (from New Seeds of Contemplation).

I think this quote is related to today's Gospel because pride is the opposite of the humility found in renouncing possessions, hating one's life, and carrying one's own cross. But what about hating family? How is loving my family prideful? Maybe it is pride to think that I can add anything to God's own love for my family? Maybe I cannot truly love them without loving God first?

Which leads me to the challenge questions for this week:

What does Jesus' message tell us about serving our neighbors?

In what ways does our love of our family members, our lives, or our possessions get in the way of our serving our neighbors with humility - out of love for God?

When is serving our neighbor like Jesus' carrying his cross? When is it not?

When we serve, do we serve with our souls emptied of pride? How can we tell?

When we serve, in what ways does God fill that capacity in our souls for love?

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