The Pride That Changed Angels Into Devils

“It was pride that changed angels into devils…”

– St. Augustine

It actually makes a lot of sense to me that we, as human beings, tend to be prideful. Think about this: God loves us so incredibly much, right? God actually loves us so much that He loves each of us as though we are His only creation – but of course, we’re not!  Unfortunately, our misunderstanding of God’s great love can often lead us to be prideful. We begin to think of ourselves as His only important creation, which leads us to mistreat others and eventually to turn our backs on God.

Pride is often said to be the original sin of Adam and Eve, as well as the evil which is at the root of all sins (Tobias 4:14). God said not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but Adam and Eve thought they knew better than God and did so anyway. Their lack of trust led them to believe they knew what was best for them, and that same pride often causes us to do the same. Pride, in this sense, is at the bottom of all the times we choose not to listen to the will of God.

So what can we do to combat the pride which tends to lead us to sin? First, we can remember to correctly understand the love that God has for us. We are not His only creation, although He loves us like we are. I think the best way to do this is to focus on the goodness of others, which reminds us how much God loves all of His creations.

Another way that we can combat pride is to completely surrender to the will of God by admitting that God does know best in all circumstances (I know this is way easier said than done!). Remember that each time you fall into sin you are saying to God, “I know what you want me to do, but I’m not going to do it because I think doing what I want is better at this moment.”

And finally, we can combat pride by humbling ourselves before others and before God. “It was pride that changed angels into devils,” St. Augustine said, and “it is humility that makes men as angels.” By both admitting we are wrong and being honest about our faults, we remind ourselves that we really do rely on the love and mercy of God for all things. Only then do we move away from sin and toward heavenly eternity with God.

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