How is it, then, that Christians have come to see pride as the first of the deadly sins? “Pride is the beginning of sin,” according to Augustine. It is “undue exaltation, when the soul abandons Him to whom it ought to cleave as its end, and becomes a kind of end to itself.” By making the self supreme, pride perverts the truth of who we really are (only the creator can be supreme, not the creature)… Pride is the sin of the devil, who, according to John Milton, would rather rule in hell then serve in heaven…
The Cure for Pride: If pride is the cardinal sin, humility is the only way forward. Scripture counsels humility (Jas. 4:6; I pet 5:5-6) and warns against having too high an estimate of oneself (Rom 12:3). Calvin understood the importance of humility: “if you ask me concerning the precepts of the Christian religion, first, second, third, and always I would answer Humility.” Calvin realizes that the sinner does not willingly abandon his pride and seek after the true knowledge of God unless he is “overwhelmed by the awareness of his calamity, poverty, nakedness, and disgrace.” Quoting Augustine, Calvin adds, “When anyone realizes that in himself he is nothing and from himself he has no help, the weapons within him are broken, the wars are over.”
…But it was left to the monastic tradition to specify how these counsels are to be carried out in practice. The Rule of Saint Benedict sets out systematically to teach the monks the way of humility in twelve steps…The first step is for the monk to “keep the fear of God before his eyes” by remembering the commandments, meditating on the terrors of hell for the disobedient and constantly examining oneself.
Are we willing to search out the power and presence of pride in our own hearts and purge our souls, with all necessary measures, of its destructive effect? Knowing our consumeristic attitudes to faith and relationship with God…I wonder?