That Pride is the chief sin, and reflections on what it has done to Lucifer and his army

October 31, 2021 • 2 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 324

The first and most formidable of these enemies is pride, that inordinate desire of our own excellence, which spiritual writers universally regard as the father and king of all the other vices.

Hence Tobias, among the numerous good counsels which he gave his son, particularly warns him against pride: “Never suffer pride to reign in thy mind or in thy words, for from it all perdition took its beginning.” [Tobias iv. 14.]

Whenever, therefore, you are attacked by this vice, which may justly be called a pestilence, defend yourself with the following considerations:

First reflect on the terrible punishment which the Angels brought upon themselves by one sin of pride. They were instantly cast from Heaven into the lowest depths of hell.

Consider how this fall transformed Lucifer, the prince of the angelic hosts, and the bright and beautiful star surpassing in splendor the sun himself. In one moment he lost all his glory, and became not only a demon but the chief of demons.

If pure spirits received such punishment, what can you expect, who are but dust and ashes? God is ever the same, and there is no distinction of persons before His justice. Pride is as odious to Him in a man as in an Angel, while humility is equally pleasing to Him in both.

Hence St. Augustine says: “Humility makes men Angels, and pride makes Angels devils.” And St. Bernard tells us: “Pride precipitates man from the highest elevation to the lowest abyss, but humility raises him from the lowest abyss to the highest elevation. Through pride the Angels fell from Heaven to hell, and through humility man is raised from earth to Heaven.”

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