Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner. I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather than the other: because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.
1. The Pharisees are to today's successful alpha male whose smart, never misses Mass, gives to the poor, and abides by the law. Pharisees were known to have a veneration of God's law and gave alms to the poor. Apparently natural goodness is insufficent to going to Heaven. Like the Pharisees were 'in their head' and not loving God from their 'heart.'
2. Removing a mental state that believes you are good because you have done this or done that. It is the very act of believing that you are 'good' that creates an act of self-exaltation (pride). Inversely, you will be 'good' when you consider yourself not yet good- holding the space and staying in this state...that is you will be good only when making an act of considering yourself to be unimportant, while doing everything you can for Christ3. Pride:
The consent of the will to singularity , in recognizing gratuitous gifts and merits due to self, leading to personal righteousness in a negative vacuum. This leads to the possibility of having an exalted opinion of yourself, self-admiration, self-satisfaction... which then leads to laxity, lukewarmness, and being content with yourself....which then allows many graces to pass you by: and boasting, and comparing yourself favorably to the less unfortunate, and judging others. This occurs because we look at our self as having 'earned,' where we are at without seeing God as the source and sustainer. It subconsciously involves ignoring the truth that no man can know what graces, lack of help, environment, crosses, or curses another individual has gone through (what hand they have been dealt with) and thus allows thoughts of "I'm better because I have done this or because I know that, or I avoided that fall." It therefore focuses on others in comparison, rather than focusing on oneself and of what God has given them in gratuitous grace and how they have missed opportunities to correspond to other grace in their lives. It is intimately entwined to supernatural faith.4. Humility:
The humble man knows that earthly things are of value only if they lead us to God. Without God we would not even exist. Do we feel proud of our our intelligence? A severe head injury or God refusing His grace can take it all away. In the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican Christ exalted humility; as also He did when, taking a little child, He said, "Whoever, therefore, humbles himself as this little child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 18:4). And again He said, after preaching to His disciples, "When you have done everything that was commanded you, say: We are unprofitable servants'" (Luke 17: 10). Let no man pride himself upon earthly honor for today the people cry "Hosanna," and tomorrow "crucify him." Let no man pride himself even upon the graces he has received from God, for they may be withdrawn at any moment, and they increase his responsibility. Neither let him pride himself upon his good works, for God has no need of his goods. After we have done all, you are still an unprofitable servant. The humble man conducts himself in the following manner: He delights in abasement, he does not attach his heart to transitory good things, he trusts wholly in God, and does not fear man. (St. Alphonsus: 12 keys...)
a.)Humility of the Intellect: consists in having a low opinion of ourselves
and in regarding ourselves as deserving contempt.
b.)Humility of the will: consists in the desire to be despised by others
and in the pleasure in the contempt itself -
5. During an Exoricism of a soul (1790-1871) out of the book 'Evidence of Satan in the Modern World' (1961): pg. 86-87 when a devil was forced to confess the following (during the exorcism) "The evildoer is not happy. If one is full of oneself, one is full of a devilish spirit. We destroy men's souls through their senses. God makes use of men to test them. If you suffer affliction, receive it as an act of Grace. The Cross is preferable to all things. God carried the Cross for the salvation of men, and he makes those whom he loves carry it too."...
"...The world believes that humility is weakness and incapacity: and I say that humility is power and grandeur. If you knew the misery of the reprobate, you would all be saints! There is no language to describe the torments of the damned; there is no human mind able to comprehend them..."
"He who loves men more than God will not be loved by God. God allows misfortunes for the spiritual betterment of men; in order to bring them to himself and make them return to him. Never forget that crosses are better than honours. We must understand that life is short and that we must endure our troubles in a spirit of penitence, as they came from God. One cannot love God without loving one's neighbour."
"Happy are they who can leave all for God. Ah, if only men could see how beautiful is a soul in a state of grace. Happiness is not here below: he who possesses God possesses everything. The rich should be the banker of the poor. God has put these riches into his hand to help his fellow men: he is God's business- man. The rich man should despise himself and follow the teaching of our Saviour, who said: 'It is easier for a camel to pass through a needle's eye, than for a man to enter the Kingdom of God when he is rich' (Mark X, 25)."
"It was pride, ingratitude, and disobedience that led to my rebellion and damnation. On Pilate: 'Pilate, as a judge, knew that he was condemning an innocent man, and yet the Devil drove him to condemn the sovereign Judge, the Judge of judges. Pilate, by washing his hands, soiled them.' On Mary Magdalene (from whom, according to the Gospels, Our Lord drove out seven devils): 'Mary Magdalene is a very great saint, in whom one can put one's utmost trust. As soon as she had the good fortune to know God, her contrition was so great, her tears so abundant, that no devil could make her sin again. She is a model for all true penitents, who should make her their special advocate with God, for God grants great favour to those who invoke her aid."
"On meditation: 'If you meditate truly on the life of our Saviour and of his Blessed Mother, I defy you to commit the slightest sin against God. 'Hunger, thirst, death, are nothing: only sin is to be feared.'"
"On Christian perfection, replying to a lady who asked to tell her the nature of Christian perfection, and the way to attain it, he said: 'To hold mortal sin in horror; not to commit even venial sins voluntarily; not to lose sight of the presence of God; to know how to humble oneself all the days of one's life, for pride is the worst of all vices; to set a good example and give good advice; to do penance, as the Forerunner demanded. And let him who is holy become still more holy.'" 6. Mystical City of God (Our Lady on humility)"..More precious is a little foolishness in its time than wisdom and glory (Eccles. 10,1); for it is better that human frailty be at times considered ignorant and wicked, than that it make a vain show of virtue and wisdom. Infinite is the number of those who are entangled in this dangerous error, who, desiring to appear wise, speak much..."7. The Way of Divine Love (Sister Josefa Menendez) "I the Son of God who holds the universe in the palm of My hand, willed that in men's eyes I should appear as the last and most contemptible of all. Far from flying from such humiliations, I willingly endured them to expiate man's pride and draw souls to follow in My footsteps. I expiated by this painful crowning the pride of those who refuse to accept anything that lower them in the eyes of the world. "I allowed My shoulders to be covered by that cloak of mockery and Myself to be treated as a fool, so that many souls would not scorn to follow Me in a way that the world holds as vile and humiliating and which to them might seem beneath their condition."...
"No path is contemptible or humiliating when it is once marked out by the Will of God. You will not find peace and joy in a position more or less brilliant in the eyes of men, but only in the accomplishment of God's Will and in entire submission to all He may require of you." pg 279. " ....