Fr. Paul D. Scalia: The Disease and the Cure

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*Image: The Pharisee and the Publican (detail) by Barent Fabritius, 1661 [Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam]. The whole (below) shows each man in the temple and leaving it, the tax collecter followed by an angel.

By Fr. Paul D. Scalia, The Catholic Thing, Oct. 23, 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.

Thank God, I’m not like the Pharisee. That may be our first reaction to the haughty prayer of the prideful Pharisee. (See Lk 18:9-14.) But if we fall into that kind of thinking, we commit the same sin as the Pharisee, reveal the pervasive nature of pride, and show why we should pay more attention to the publican than the Pharisee.

Consider how far-reaching and all-pervasive pride is. It is the sin of Satan, the thought that he could be like God; that he could have his extraordinary power and dignity without God. So, God responds to Satan’s pride by way of humble Saint Michael, whose name means “Who is like God?” Pride is also the sin of our first parents: the thought that they could have the things of God on their own terms, that they could grasp things for themselves rather than receive them as gifts. It’s ultimately a rebellion against the order of things, that He is God, and we are not. …

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