Tag Archives: human pride


“We must now, Venerable Brethren, as Our purpose demands, impart to you such counsels as seem best suited for carrying on successfully the study of biblical science.

What are the opponents’ tactics and weapons?

But first it must be clearly understood whom we have to oppose and contend against, and what are their tactics and their arms. In earlier times the contest was chiefly with those who, relying on private judgment and repudiating the divine traditions and teaching office of the Church, held the Scriptures to be the one source of revelation and the final appeal in matters of Faith.

Rejecting even scraps and remnants of Christian belief

Now, we have to meet the Rationalists, true children and inheritors of the older heretics, who, trusting in their turn to their own way of thinking, have rejected even the scraps and remnants of Christian belief which had been handed down to them.

To them, the miracles and wonders of God’s power are not what they are

They deny that there is any such thing as revelation or inspiration, or Holy Scripture at all; they see, instead, only the forgeries and the falsehoods of men. They set down the Scripture narratives as stupid fables and lying stories: the prophecies and the oracles of God are to them either predictions made up after the event or forecasts formed by the light of nature; the miracles and the wonders of God’s power are not what they are said to be, but the startling effects of natural law, or else mere tricks and myths; and the apostolic Gospels and writings not the work of the Apostles at all.

Human attempts to take God out of the equation

These detestable errors, whereby they think they destroy the truth of the divine Books, are obtruded on the world as the peremptory pronouncements of a certain newly-invented ‘free science;’ a science, however, which is so far from final that they are perpetually modifying and supplementing it.

Man-made “free science”, so far from final that it gets changed constantly

And there are some of them who, notwithstanding their impious opinions and utterances about God, and Christ, the Gospels and the rest of Holy Scripture, would fain be considered theologians and Christians and men of the Gospel, and who attempt to disguise by such honourable names their rashness and their pride. To them we must add not a few professors of other sciences who approve their views and give them assistance, and are urged to attack the Bible by a similar intolerance of revelation.

Disguising rashness and pride; striving for human acclaim

And it is deplorable to see these attacks growing every day more numerous and more severe. It is sometimes men of learning and judgment who are assailed; but these have little difficulty in defending themselves from evil consequences. The efforts and the arts of the enemy are chiefly directed against the more ignorant masses of the people.

The spread of the deadly poison

They diffuse their deadly poison by means of books, pamphlets, and newspapers; they spread it by addresses and by conversation; they are found everywhere; and they are in possession of numerous schools, taken by violence from the Church, in which, by ridicule and scurrilous jesting, they pervert the credulous and unformed minds of the young to the contempt of Holy Scripture.

Champions that are needed in this momentous battleĀ 

Should not these things, Venerable Brethren, stir up and set on fire the heart of every Pastor, so that to this ‘knowledge, falsely so called’ may be opposed the ancient and true science which the Church, through the Apostles, has received from Christ, and that Holy Scripture may find the champions that are needed in so momentous a battle?”

– From the Encyclical Letter Providentissimus Deus, 18th November 1893 (Pope Leo XIII) [headings in bold added afterwards]


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“…Jesus came into our world and said, ‘I am come to do the will of my Father and His law is written on my Heart.’… He said, ‘I came not to be served but to serve.’ And though He was the Lord of Lords, He was happy to be the servant of servants. But why was He so obedient? To rebuild the glory of God, diminished by our first parents [Adam and Eve, who were disobedient to God], to give us the best example of submission and to raise and conserve in His person any merit there is in our obedience. Think therefore, O Christian, how dear you should hold this virtue that is so close to the Heart of your Jesus. Obedience! …

O, what a most obedient Heart! Consider who and what He was obeying? God, who sustains the heavens and the whole universe and who does He obey? Simple creatures, the work of His own hands, and how does He obey? With love and joy, with the same promptness that angels show in obeying Him in Heaven, and in what does He obey? In everything, even the most humiliating things… and how long did He obey for? Not just for a day, a month, a year, or just during His childhood, but continuously, all through His life. Until when was He obedient? Until death, death on a cross. O, how incredible! His miracles were not marvellous because He was almighty God, His obedience was the miracle of miracles.

So, learn from the Sacred Heart of Jesus how to obey. You must learn, seeing that you are often slow even obeying those you are obliged to obey, you are always searching for an excuse not to obey, you do not obey, or you do so with disrespect and irritation, you must, or you may lose all reward in the sight of God. Learn, you who rarely obey without some form of repugnance, whether through judgement or unwillingness.

Learn, you who even obey for your own good and your own self-satisfaction. The submission of the divine Heart of Jesus is a reprove to your pride and your love of independence… Obedience is worth more than sacrifice. He does not prefer your judgements to anyone else’s, do not think yourself more illumined or prudent than others, and recognise in the will of others the will of God.

O, how meritorious it is to sacrifice our own will for someone else! How many treasures of virtue and graces [these are ‘treasures in heaven, rather than earthly treasures which rust and woodworm corrupts’, mentioned by Jesus Christ in the Gospel] you can amass, even by living a life that seems ordinary, if you are really obedient! O, in how little time you will cover much ground towards sainthood by simply obeying!

By doing so, the loving Heart of Jesus will incline towards you, and teach you to listen to His commands in all things. In adhering to His designs, every obstacle blocking your path to perfection will be removed, you will experience a profound peace, and you will see the numberless advantages of being His, on earth and in heaven. Work then, towards perfect obedience, accept the loving invitations of His grace, for God has said that the obedient man will have the victory.
PRAYER: Jesus, for your glory I wish to be submissive and docile so You may extinguish all my pride.”
– Mons Nicola Tafuri


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