Pride, the Worst of the Deadly Sins

[ 23 ] November 7, AD 2012 |

Sin is the worst evil a person can commit in one’s life. Sin can broadly fall into the following categories or what are called the “Seven Deadly Sins”: Pride, Gluttony, Greed, Lust, Sloth, Wrath, and Envy. Now although all these sins are exceptionally dangerous to a person’s soul, there is one that stands out: pride. Pride is one of the worst sins on this list because it taints every virtue, and makes salvation much harder to obtain.  Although the seven virtues counter each of the deadly sins, pride is the sin which is able to affect them all in a way that the others cannot. Let us therefore go through the list of virtues, and realize how horrid it is to mix in the sin of pride.

Humility – Humility is the virtue by which we realize our nothingness and our dependence upon God for everything. This is the true path to holiness, for we think nothing of ourselves, and only have God on our minds. This also helps the person to be charitable to one’s neighbor and helps us to follow the path to Christ.

If you have this virtue, but also have pride, this is what you get: If a soul tainted with pride wishes to have humility, he may say to God “I am nothing,” but praises himself for being so holy as to say that. Humility in a proud heart becomes a very artificial one, and soon looks down on others, because he doesn’t realize his littleness as much as the proud one does.

Generosity – The virtue by which a person gives, rather than receives. He thinks of others before himself, and never holds back anything material. This results in a detachment from any earthly good, making the soul only attached to the things of God.

If a person adds pride to this, there are two results. The first is giving what the person really doesn’t need, but constantly taking what the person “rightfully deserves.” This is a well-known saying in today’s world, and it is all due to pride. The second result would be that the person takes this to the extreme such as selling everything he owns, in order to say that he was the best and boast about how much he has given to such and such a charity, and isn’t attached to the world. This is a great mistake.

Chastity – This is the virtue of purity. This virtue preserves the great gift in which God has given us to continue the human population. Our Lady is the greatest symbol of this virtue, because she kept her chastity all through her life, while having Jesus Christ.

Pride can taint this great virtue as well. A proud soul will stay pure by, in fact, AVOIDING the world, just to say that he is not involved in the impurities of the world. But the fact is that impurity lies first in the heart or in one’s intentions, rather than solely in things physical. But the proud heart avoids everything possible, just to say that he is pure, and refuses to properly use the goods of this world.

Meekness – The virtue by which we are patient, when it comes to our neighbor doing us any injustice, or even just annoying us. Meekness helps us to bear these things, and to do it for the love of God.

Pride makes the person downright avoid people! He will stay away in a snobby manner, and if a fight comes into view, he will be the one who starts it, but when the other person tries to stop it, he will say “I’m not fighting! I think you need to calm down.” This not only makes this virtue superficial, but makes a person’s reputation plummet.

Temperance – Temperance is the virtue which counters gluttony. In other words, a person watches how he eats and drinks, in order to even be detached from the things that sustain a person’s life.

Proud souls, with this virtue, can go to the extreme, that is, excessive fasting, in order to boast about it. This virtue becomes tainted, and becomes much less meritorious for the soul. But in most cases, the person falls into gluttony, because fasting in these days doesn’t really matter.

Kindness – The virtue by which we simply love our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God. This is, as Jesus has told us, as important as the first commandment.

If you add pride to this, you get flattery. This means that you compliment a person inordinately, just to either look good, to make your reputation better, or to get something out of the person. This is, once again, very superficial, because, on the surface you seem quite charitable, but on the inside, you could hate the person, and no one would know it.

Diligence – Diligence is the virtue which helps the person to continue in his Faith, even during hardships and trials. This is one of the virtues that gets overlooked in our society today, because many people lose the Faith due to the trials in life.

Pride makes the person continue in the Faith but in a proud manner. This is very dangerous, because he thinks he is doing the right thing but never sees a need to change.

In short, pride is stealing from God the rightful glory due to Him. We tell Him that we are the reason for our virtue and holiness, rather than recognizing the sole source of this goodness. Most people forget that all good is from God alone, and applies it to themselves. This vice begins to eat away at our soul, and make what we thought was Faith, Hope, and Charity, to Me, Myself, and I. The Almighty will then step back, and let the soul worship what he really wants, himself.

There are many ways that you can save your soul from this vice, but the main one is to pray for the grace of Humility. This is easily acquired by saying the “Litany of Humility”, or reminding yourself that all the goodness that you ever did came from God, and any sinfulness came from yourself. In having this virtue, we begin to love God more, as well as grow in the spiritual life. This is the most important thing in our life because it is the only thing that lasts for eternity.

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About the Author ()

Alexandra Reis is a 16-year-old cradle Catholic. Her passions consist of learning and writing about the Faith and trying to spread it. She is drawn to the traditional Latin Mass. She is also interested in poetry, art, playing the piano, and acquiring wisdom at a young age. She hopes to become a writer and professional public speaker in the future in order to save souls for the greater glory of God.
  • http://catholicland.blogspot.com SWP

    As far as I know, Sin IS the evil that one can commit in this life.

    • Alexandra Reis

      This is true, although since I was referring to the seven deadly sins,I started my article with stating that sin was the worst evil (that is, mortal or deadly.) Thank you for the helpful comment!

      • Alexandra

        But is sin the worst evil? According to Archbishop Fulton Sheen, sin is NOT the worst evil, denying sin is.

  • AB

    What a well-written article. We all need to be reminded of how pride is at the root of all the other sins. I am looking forward to reading more from you!

    • Alexandra

      Thank you so much! It is very true that pride is the main cause of sin, and I hope to write another article very soon!

  • Pingback: Pride Music Politics Culture Justin Welby Faith and Works | Big Pulpit

  • Rachel

    Wow, Alexandra. Thank you for sharing your gift with us. God smiles. :)

    • Alexandra

      Thank you Rachel! I’m so glad you enjoyed my article!

  • Richard E

    Alexandra, well written article and a great topic to focus on. If you haven’t read it I would suggest reading Venerable Archbishop Sheen’s “Victory over Vice” as he looks at each of the ‘vices’ and how to win over them. My copy of that book has notations on the edges, underlines and yellow high-lights.

    • Alexandra

      Thank you so much for the suggestion! I’ll try to read the book as soon as possible!

  • Richard E

    The book I mentioned is published by Sophia Institute Press but think they were incorportated by Abby Press. should be able to find who has it by title search : “Victory over Vice”

    • Alexandra

      I will definitely look into it! Thank you and God Bless!

  • Bay

    I like the part about how pride is ultimately stealing the glory that is rightfully God’s. I was just wondering, i’ve heard about the “Seven Deadly Sins” before but where does the idea come from? Like is there actual scripture that specifies these as especially harmful. I always understood it that all sin as a whole is deadly, no matter how small.

    • Alexandra

      Good Question Bay! Well, although the seven deadly sins are not in the Bible, the term originated with the Doctors of the Church. Now, these seven are actually vices, that is, the source and root of all the other sins one can commit. As I said that they are not in Scripture, it is extremely useful to know what they are, because in finding the root of the sin, it will be much easier to stop the habit. In this article, I have shown how this habit, or vice, effects virtue. Thank you for the question! God bless!

  • Richard E

    Bay, in a way the 7 deadly sins, vices are found in scripture, going back and using one of sites I saved from my college days I share this:
    1 John 2:16: For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.
    In the above scripture, St. John talks about three basic types of sin – The lust of the flesh (gluttony, lust, sloth), the lust of the eyes (greed), and the pride of life (pride, envy, anger).

    There are also references made by Jesus in the Gospels – 1 being the man who build extra binds for his grain (greed as he could of shared the some of the excess).

    • Bay

      makes sense. thank you

  • Theresa

    Wonderful article and I am so pleased to see this subject being brought back into the limelight. I have been studying the “7 Deadly Sins” and their redeeming Virtues for a couple of years ago. I don’t know where the first teachings of the 7 Deadly Sins appeared, but I highly recommend a couple of ancient writings that deal with these. John Cassian, a monk circa 350 AD travelled to Scete in Egypt and lived for 14 years with the Desert Fathers. He wrote down the teachings of these early Fathers and his writings were widely circulated among the monasteries of that day. The book is “John Cassian’s Conferences,” and the 7 sins discussion is discussed in Conference #5 “Conference of Abbot Serapion: On The Eight Principal Faults.” Also, I recommend “The Rule of St. Benedict.” That is a “rule of life” written about 500 AD for monasteries and is still widely used in monasteries to this day. Thanks again for this very thoughtful article!

    • Alexandra

      It’s truly a pleasure to write about these things, and I’m so glad you liked it! I think in our society, many forget the basics of the Faith, and that’s where my great love of Tradition comes in! I will definitely look into those ancient writings, and God Bless you!

  • Chi

    Really, pride is at the root of all evils. Pride goeth before a fall.

  • mary

    Very good article. Was surprised to see it had been written by a 16 year old. You have a talent to use for the glory of God. Wish you well where ever God takes you in life. Keep up the good work.

    • Alexandra

      Thank you so much Mary! I definitely intend to use my God given talent to the best of my ability! May God bless you as well during your whole life, and please keep me in your prayers.

  • TG

    Very well written. You are so wise for a 16 year old. There’s hope for the future of the Catholic Church.

    • Alexandra

      Thank you so much TG! You know, it’s my dream to become a public speaker for the Catholic Church one day, because I can see that many are too afraid to speak anymore. Would you have any tips on this? Also, there definitely is a future for the Church, we just have to wait patiently!