The Inner Struggle

Pride Goeth Before … but never goes away …

Inner Thoughts”  Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the album “Inner Thoughts” (2006)

18Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16: 18)

Pope Pius XI (1922 - 1939)

Pope Pius XI (1922 – 1939)

“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.

Pietro Cardinal Parolin (2016)

Pietro Cardinal Parolin at the U.N. (2016)

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.

In the immortal words of Tolkien:

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.”


Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Self Regard …

Inner Thoughts”  Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the album “Inner Thoughts” (2006)

So much of what I wrote, back three years ago when I started this blog, now seems petty, trite and selfish, considering the  following:

” … Let us consider how great a spirit of faith (is) necessary to accept from the hand of God all the circumstances which afflict and humiliate, contradict and mortify us.

It will sometimes be easier to accept heavy trials which come directly from Our Lord, such as illness and bereavement, than other lighter ones where creatures enter into play, and for which, perhaps, we experience greater repugnance.

The immediate action of creatures, especially if their malice has a share in it, makes it more difficult for us to discover the divine hand. A greater spirit of faith is necessary here, that we may pass beyond the human side of circumstances, the faulty way of acting of such and such a person, and find, beyond all these human contingencies, the dispositions of divine Providence, which wills to use these particular creatures, and even their defects and errors, to file away our self-love and destroy our pride. … ”

“If you wish to see how far your love of esteem for God has reached , examine your conduct, and try to discover the ultimate motive of your preoccupations, fears, desires, and joys; if this motive is not God, but creatures, your own interests and satisfaction, you ought to acknowledge humbly that you have not yet succeeded in esteeming God above all things; for you weigh “in the balance against God that which … is the greatest possible distance from God” (St. John of The Cross, Ascent of Mount Carmel, I, 5,4).

Searching your heart more deeply, you will see that you frequently place on the same plane your will and the will of God, your tastes and His good pleasure, your interests and His glory, your convenience and His service.

Furthermore, although in theory you protest that you esteem God above all things, in practice you very often give the preference not to His will, desires, and interests, but to your own, and that is why you fall into so many imperfections.”

from “Divine Intimacy“, by Fr. Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalene, O.C.D. , Copyright 1953 Monastero S. Guiseppe – Carmelitane Scalze, (Discalced Carmelite Monastery in Rome), 2014 edition.  pp 1027 & 1043-1044.



“where there is true love of God, there enter neither love of self nor that of the things of self” (St. John of The Cross, Dark Night of The Soul, II, 21, 10)