“Inner Thoughts” Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the album “Inner Thoughts” (2006)
18Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16: 18)
“The man who prays looks above to the goods of heaven whereon he meditates and which he desires; his whole being is plunged in the contemplation of the marvelous order established by God, which knows not the frenzy of earthly successes nor the futile competitions of ever increasing speed.” –Pope Pius XI
Pope Pius XI, born Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti, was head of the Catholic Church from 6 February 1922 to his death in 1939. He was the first sovereign of Vatican City from its creation as an independent state on 11 February 1929.
A Pope of the old school, no new paradigms for Pope Pius XI. Evil was evil and there were no “understandings” or extenuating circumstances.
Pope Pius XI just faced the world, the whole world doing to hell … literally … “Modernism”, Progressivism”, the Lord of This World manifest in every aspect of human progress, Liberalism, Fascism, Communism, a full court press by the dark side.
And only trust in God to stand against evil … and nothing has changed … it’s all just got “More sophisticated”, more mainstream, more nuanced, more acceptable as long as it doesn’t upset our personal apple cart. Who are we to judge?
Ultimately it seems that “trust” is found only in “Trust in God”, trust in his love, his forgiveness of all our multitude of transgressions and betrayals, that “Trust” which is articulated in sincere prayer.
Over 20 years ago I had an intense “AHA!” regarding Pride, and self worship and the need for the “death” of self.
20 some years on I realize that it is impossible for a proud man to give himself humility … it is impossible for an impoverished man to give himself wealth … it is impossible for a sick man to give himself health …
Our abject misery and our human nature guarantee the impossibility of “Self Help” ever making even a little progress. No matter who wrote the book, pride always always poisons the well.
Self Help is just another variation on the perennial self worship that is the pretty much permanent human condition throughout history.
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”