Her Doctrine and Morals

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

13 August 2017


The Sunday


Click the button on the right to be told about updates. Your address will be kept strictly private.

The Sunday Sermon Archive

Dear Friends,

The parable in today's Gospel of the Publican and the Pharisee present to us the absolute destructiveness of pride. No matter how much good we may have done, pride undermines and destroys everything. On the other side of this, we see that no matter what evils we may have committed, penitential humility restores everything.

St. Chrysostom says: "This present discourse puts before us two charioteers. In one we have justice together with pride; in the other sin and humility. Yet see how the chariot of sin passes that of justice. Not by its own powers but by the power of its associate humility. The other is defeated, not by any weakness of justice, but through the weight and swelling of pride. For as humility by its excellence overcame the handicap of sin, and leaping forward reaches God; so pride by its mass easily weighed down justice. . . And if humility alongside sin raced so fast that it passed justice joined to pride, if you yoked it to justice, how would it not go! … And again, if pride joined to justice was able to cast this latter down, were pride joined to sin, to what deep Gehenna will it not thrust it down? I do not say this that we may neglect justice, but that we may avoid pride."

In all things, we must always be aware that all the honor and glory belong to God. We are all children of the fallen Adam. We no longer can lay claim to the original virtues that were given to mankind — these have been lost to us through Original Sin. We have nothing of ourselves, and we can merit nothing of ourselves. Any good that is in us, or any good that we do, is truly the work of God. It is by His grace that there is anything good within us. The moment that we give in to the suggestions of pride and attribute some goodness to ourselves, is the very moment that we assault the Merciful Beneficence of God. We are attempting to steal the glory of these gifts or actions from God; and make a god of ourselves. Once we have done this, God takes away from us any merit that we may have had in them. Where there may have once been justice, there is now a great injustice caused by pride. The justice of all the other actions is destroyed by this one great crime of injustice against God — pride.

On the other hand, if we consider the many sins of the Publican, we see that no matter how grievous or numerous our sins may be, if we come to God in humble penance, we will find His Mercy and Grace. In this manner, humility works in the same way as her sister virtue, charity; she covers a multitude of sins. They actually are working side by side in the conversion of the sinner — removing and covering up the many injustices and replacing them with true justice. The truth is that we have nothing of ourselves to boast in — we are nothing and have done nothing worthy of God or Heaven. The humility that profoundly understands and accepts this simultaneously attributes all that is good to God. This one profound act of true justice, repairs the damage caused by a lifetime of injustice.

This humility must be in reference to ourselves, it will do us no good to look upon our fellow men and condemn them as unjust or sinners. We have no way of knowing the hearts and souls of others. We must refrain from the comparison of ourselves to them, because we do not know for certain the graces that we have received — much less, the graces that they have been given. St. Francis of Assisi, considered himself worse than all others. He once suggested that he was more guilty than a man going to his execution. His reasoning was that if that man had received the same graces that he had — he would be much better. Or, St. Francis would have us consider that if we were in that man's situation, we would be worse than he is.

There is no doubt that all men are sinners, but we do not know the graces given or the graces refused. To whom much has been given much will be required. The only sure judgment that we can make is that we ourselves are sinners in need of God's mercy. Let us therefore, not compare ourselves to any other, but rather, humbly and penitentially present ourselves before God

St. Chrysostom says: "We do not give thanks by speaking ill of others. When you give thanks to God, let Him alone be your thought. Do not let your mind turn to men; and do not condemn your neighbor."

Click here for a FREE sample copy of THE SERAPH

Would you like to make a donation?

Or, just log onto, after signing in you can send your donation to us at: .

Blog with audio downloads

Return to Menu.

Return to Homepage.