I am beginning to understand how pride is the root of all evil. In examining my conscience and trying to really uncover the temptations in my life, and the areas that I frequently fall away from God's grace, I've become keenly aware of my pride and arrogance.
I really, truly struggle with this, and I'm not entirely sure how to rid myself of it. I've prayed for humility. I've prayed for strength to combat these arrogant, prideful notions. I'm just really struggling.
There is a story I once read as a child. It was the story of Garabandal. Mari Cruz, a young child blessed with the visions of the Blessed Mother, angrily disobeyed her mother by following the other seers to pray in the rain. I believe her mother was trying to keep her home both to protect her from the crowds and the elements. As punishment for her transgression, Mari Cruz did not receive visions of the Blessed Mother again. That story always stuck with me. Unfortunately, I didn't pay proper attention to it, even though the moral gnawed at my heart.
I was a disobedient child. Very intelligent, very witty, but very arrogant. I felt that because I was so smart and clever, I could handle myself the way I saw fit. I disregarded almost every rule my mother set forth because it didn't make logical sense to me. Now, after so many years of inner reflection, I understand how greatly I displeased the Blessed Mother by creating such trouble for my own. As I write that I feel awful. Guilty. Miserable. I want to pick up the phone and immediately call my mother to tell her I'm sorry, but pride stops me. Why? Just because we have a good relationship now doesn't absolve me of my past grievances with her.
I understand now that I could have used those times of discourse as a means to learn patience, humility and obedience. I still feel that my mother was wrong to request certain things of me, but it was doubly wrong of me to go against her wishes. St. Faustina in her writings explains that sometimes God presents us with these unfair challenges in order to help us grow in virtues we lack. Also, we are given the opportunity to offer these sacrifices in union with Christ for the conversion of sinners. Oh, that I turned away from this opportunity so many times...
My pride did not stop there. I would get (and still do get) involved in affairs that are no business of mine. My husband may be right that I get pleasure out of telling others how to live their lives, but who am I? I can't properly find the path myself let alone point it out to others. I am more miserable than they, yet I delight in their confusion because it directs light away from my own. Patience and humility will overcome my pride with the help of the Holy Spirit. Oh, Holy Spirit, help me learn those virtues true!