Saturday, June 04, 2011

Pride and shame.

"Pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source.  Humility is the only antidote to shame."
The sin of pride is an inordinate desire or love of one's own excellence.  Through pride a man thinks himself better than he is or he thinks he can do things which are beyond his own power.  The proud man thinks all of his talents are his own, he will not even acknowledge that he owes them to God.  If he does concede they come form God, he he still thinks they are due to his own merit.  He boasts of gifts which he does not possess, while despising other men and imagining himself to be unique.  Pride is a serious sin because it leads man to resist even God himself, not to mention God's plan for humanity.  Pride and presumption calls vice virtue.
The original sin of our first parents was a sin of pride.  Through pride, through a disordered desire to attain some spiritual perfection without God, they fell.  (Paraphrased from My Way of Life, Confraternity of the Precious Blood)
Original sin is the source of disorder in man's soul.
Shame is good.
When we do something wrong and we are exposed as doing so, we become ashamed.  Shame, or guilt is a necessary realization or understanding of wrong doing.  Modesty, or sexual shame protects us from sin - it is a safeguard against sin.  Shame is the result of original sin.  The ordinary man knows instinctively that moral shame is a consequence of sin, as is sexual shame.  Sexual shame is in fact a positive shame in so far as it is the guardian and protector of purity and chastity.   To construct a perfect definition here is beyond my 'pay grade' but it is something Blessed John Paul II discusses at length in his Theology of the Body.
"(T)he mutual shame of the man and the woman as a symptom of the fall..." - JPII
A certain fear always belongs to the essence of shame. Nevertheless, original shame reveals its character in a particular way: "I was afraid, because I was naked." We realize that something deeper than physical shame, bound up with a recent consciousness of his own nakedness, is in action here. Man tries to cover the real origin of fear with the shame of his own nakedness. Thus he indicates its effect, in order not to call its cause by name. Then God-Yahweh says in his turn: "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" (Gn 3:11).
Man alienated from love

2. The precision of that dialogue is overwhelming; the precision of the whole narrative is overwhelming. It manifests the surface of man's emotions in living the events, in such a way as to reveal their depth at the same time. In all this, nakedness does not have solely a literal meaning. It does not refer only to the body; it is not the origin of a shame related only to the body. Actually, through nakedness, man deprived of participation in the gift is manifested, man alienated from that love which had been the source of the original gift, the source of the fullness of the good intended for the creature.
According to the formulas of the theological teaching of the Church,(1) this man was deprived of the supernatural and preternatural gifts which were part of his endowment before sin. Furthermore, he suffered a loss in what belongs to his nature itself, to humanity in the original fullness of the image of God. The three forms of lust do not correspond to the fullness of that image, but precisely to the loss, the deficiencies, the limitations that appeared with sin.
Lust is explained as a lack which has its roots in the original depth of the human spirit. If we wish to study this phenomenon in its origins, that is, at the threshold of the experiences of historical man, we must consider all the words that God-Yahweh addressed to the woman (Gn 3:16) and to the man (Gn 3:17-19). Furthermore, we must examine the state of their consciousness. The Yahwist text expressly enables us to do so. We have already called attention to the literary specificity of the text in this connection. - Real Significance of Original Nakedness, Pope John Paul II


Art: The Fall of Satan.
The very perfection of the angels exposed them to the constant danger of the gifted, the danger of enchantment with the splendor of the gifts to the denial of the Giver. - My Way of Life, The Angels


  1. from the Testimony of a Courage Member : Wendy

    Sorry, it's a bit long Terry.....

    Dearest :

    I love you and my love for you is eternal. Do not look at your limitations, but look to me, I am eternal. Do not look at your weakness, but look to me, I am Almighty. Do not look at your sin, but trust in my mercy.

    I love you now, this moment. You are precious to me, you are worthy of esteem and I love you. For you are the masterpiece of creation. You are my joy. Even if the mountains would move, my affection for you would not cease.

    I have always been at your side, even when you didn’t notice, even when you didn’t feel my presence. I was there to support you, to enlighten you. I have been with you wherever you have gone. Even when you rejected me, I was there to love you.

    I love you. Of this you must be certain! Nothing and no one should ever let you doubt this. I love you! Whenever you sin, do not doubt my mercy, for I love you. Whenever you are alone, I want you to know that I am on your side. I will never leave or abandon you.

    If you should have to pass through a river, I will be with you, you will not drown. If you should have to walk through fire, the flames will not harm you; you will not be burned.

    I have an assignment for you. Many of my children are desperate because they do not know me. They do not know I love them and that my love for them is deep. For this reason I say to you: go amongst my people, meet as many as you can and tell each of them, “God Loves YOU now, this very moment.”

    Tell them I am at their side and I will never forget them. I am counting on you. Remember if you do not tell them, many of them will despair. Tell them about my immense love; tell them about my tenderness, about my forgiveness.




  2. Something about that engraving is just so very "lonely"..cast out FOREVER from the presence of God..researched it and discovered that it was done by Gustave Dore for "Paradise Lost."

    I remember how "lonely" I was when I was not walking with God, and tried to fill that lonlieness with other things...never worked.

    Maria--I am planting petunias today...just about need the sunblock :)


  3. "No one knows how high I ascended, only how far I have fallen"

    Satan's lamentation.


  4. A Random Friar9:20 AM

    I was taught that Dore did not want to be an illustrator at first, illustrators being looked down upon by the "real" artists, who scoffed at his "popular" work. Most of his critics are long-forgotten.

    It is a shame he died at 51.

    I remember reading, in St. Augustine, I think, that consequence of man's disobedience to God in the Garden was that now man would become obedient to his body and its desires, instead of his body becoming obedient to him, and his truest and highest desire.

  5. Here comes scrupulous negativity again, but did you know there are Catholic couples who avoid seeing each other naked as much possible, even during the marriage act?

    That sounds like a sick fearfulness and confusion of natural healthy desire for lust doesn't it?

    If that kind of behavior is considered good among married Catholics, then I guess I should be glad my marriage is a failure.

    And how does one tell the difference between strong and healthy sexual desire and lust? Is it even possible? It seems like lots of the saints had no idea there was a difference - Augustine certainly didn't. I don't personally see how anyone can tell the difference either - hence the Catholic I mentioned above. I'm in danger of being one - in light of Catholic tradition, even in light of the new, nebulous 'personalist' muddle-headed philosophy, I really don't think I could ever appreciate sexual attraction to and enjoyment with my spouse without feeling tremendously guilty.

  6. And once again I hijacked the com-box, especially after the beautiful things said by shadowlands and others.

  7. There are no prohibitions placed on the marriage bed.

    Common sense and couth go a long way on this one.

    If a man does not want to see his wife naked, that is a mental problem, not a marriage problem.

    A marriage becomes a failure when we give up.

    If your spouse and the kids retreat and run fast towards the gates of Hell, pray for them.

    If your spouse lays with someone else as their spouse, pray for your spouse.

    If your children spit in your face, the Jewish High Priest spat in the face of Christ.

    Never give up.

    Trust in the Lord means just that.


  8. Austringer12:17 PM

    "Here comes scrupulous negativity again, but did you know there are Catholic couples who avoid seeing each other naked as much possible, even during the marriage act?"

    Wha-a-a? Where does this come from? Is it something you've asked a lot of Catholics about?

    Kinda needs a meaningful comparitive, don't you think? Like, "unlike Protestants or Buddhists, there are Catholic couples who avoid seeing each other naked..".

    "If that kind of behavior is considered good among married Catholics, then I guess I should be glad my marriage is a failure."

    Who asserts that it is considered good?

    "And how does one tell the difference between strong and healthy sexual desire and lust? Is it even possible?"

    I don't think it's as difficult as you suggest. And why do you think St. Augustine couldn't tell the difference?

    Seems to me that you're dumping on the Church for no good reason.

  9. Mercury, don't be impressed with my first comment,I was quoting someone sane's words. Personally speaking, If relationships were car crashes, I'd be a motorway pile-up hahaha!!

    Anyway, these days, I'm learning to love God first, then me, then others. (Apparently it's hard to love others if you don't first love youself cos you keep looking out to be loved, rather than be loving or something like that).

    I still pass the cookies/biscuits to guests before taking one off the plate myself though, as this does not compromise my self love????!!!!.

  10. Austringer, do not presume I am dumping on the church for no good reason. Also, don't pretend like several saints did not have positively severe and rigorous views via-a-via marital relations. Don't pretend that Augustine didn't see procreation as the sole good that completely "excused" the use I marriage from sin, or that this line of thought ("exculpation" of the act) was not followed up for centuries, or that Augustine didn't think that the "motion in their members" was somehow in itself base and shameful.

    You have not gone through the absolute HELL of constant fear and worry and scrupulosity that I have been living through - an what has fed it has been the words of the saints themselves, including Blessed John Paul II. And if I am lumping scorn on the church for no good reason, then tell me why my marriage ended. Ask me if it had to do with taking a timid, but convicted stand on certain non-negotiables, and being rejected for it.

    My life sucks right now, Austringer. I want to be in the Church, I want to love her, but it's so hard because o my fears, which can be so bad that sometimes I'm across to pray for my marriage because I'm afraid of sinning. Yes, it's stupid and beyond logic. Such are things sometimes.

    As for the Catholics I mentioned before, check out the Catholic Answers Forums. They are legion there.

  11. Merc - those people are nuts. There are really a lot of nut cases around the Internet and haunting the dark back aisles of churches. I know a lot of nut cases - believe me. Don't read that stuff. If it disturbs your peace - ignore it. Some days I hate religious people. I hope I don't fuel your guilt - what I am getting at in this post is how nuts gay pride is - how deluded gay people are to think that their form of 'pride' is somehow good and dipels shame when pride is the facade for shame.

    I think I have to close comments on this post.