Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Peter Kreeft on Pride vs Humility

Pride does not mean an exaggerated opinion of your own worth; that is vanity. Pride means playing God, demanding to be God. "Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven," says Satan, justifying his rebellion, in Milton's Paradise Lost. That is the formula for pride. Pride is the total "my will be done."

Humility is "thy will be done." Humility is focused on God, not self. Humility is not an exaggeratedly low opinion of yourself. Humility is self-forgetfulness. A humble man never tells you how bad he is. He's too busy thinking about you to talk about himself. That's why humility is such a joy and so close to the beatific vision, where we will be so fascinated with God that we forget ourselves completely, like the mystics. Combining these two things—the will's total "not my will but thine be done" and the mind's total self-forgetfulness—we can perhaps begin to understand how the mystics find incomparable joy in becoming nothing. It is the mysterious thrill we feel when we sing to the Holy Spirit, "Blow, blow, blow till I be/ But the breath of the Spirit blowing in me."

Read the whole essay, "How Does the Weakness of the Cross Make Us Strong," here.

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