Fr. Paul D. Scalia: Inward and Outward

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Image: Vanity by Jan Sanders van Hemessen, c. 1535-40 [Palais des Beaux-Arts, Lille, France]

By Fr. Paul D. Scalia,  The Catholic Thing, Feb 27, 2022

Fr. Paul Scalia is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington, VA, where he serves as Episcopal Vicar for Clergy and Pastor of Saint James in Falls Church. He is the author of That Nothing May Be Lost: Reflections on Catholic Doctrine and Devotion and the editor of Sermons in Times of Crisis: Twelve Homilies to Stir Your Soul.


Fr. Paul D. ScaliaA bitter irony of Original Sin is that it has made us simultaneously more self-focused and less self-aware. Despite our thinking so much about ourselves, we have little self-knowledge to show for it.

Fallen man is, in the Psalmist’s words, incurvatus nimis – exceedingly bowed down, turned inward on himself. Our thoughts are self-referential. The self becomes the center of gravity for our thoughts, words, and actions. This is pride, plain and simple. From it come all boasting and haughtiness as well as fear and insecurity. Whatever manifestation our pride takes, it always results in a lack of concern for others. Or, very likely, a concern for the other not as other but, bending the arc back to oneself, as someone who affects me. …