An infant reveals pride within man

December 30, 2013
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By Jasbir T. Singh |
On the first day of Christmas, I found myself reflecting upon what it must have been like 2000 years ago when the Son of God was born of the Virgin Mary, also known as the Nativity. I couldn't help but think about the reaction of King Herod, who felt so threatened by the infant Jesus, that he ordered the Massacre of the Innocents. The killing of all male children was ordered to avoid the loss of his throne to Jesus. Killing the infant Jesus would be the surest way to prevent him from becoming the "King" of the Jews.

So, from the knowledge of the birth of Jesus, we see why pride really is the mother of all sins, the one that affected a man's ego so much, that he had to order the killing of all male children in Bethlehem in order to eliminate the threat to his throne.

Our modern “King Herod” society

Isn't it ironic that in today's so called “advanced” civilization, most of the world so easily accepts the same infanticide – the murder of the unborn child in the womb. Why do governments around the world continue to favour a woman's right to kill an unborn child, over the right of that unborn child to live? Medical science has already proven that life begins at conception, and ultrasound technology has really made it an undeniable no-brainer: we're dealing with a human being who is getting ready to be born. This TED Talk by Alexander Tsiaras says it all.
The only place that collagen changes its structure is in the cornea of the eye. In your eye it becomes a grid formation, and therefore it becomes transparent as opposed to opaque: so perfectly organized a struture that it is hard not to attribute divinity to it. -- Alexander Tsiaras

I think that an unborn child's right to live should trump a woman's right to have an abortion. Isn't the real victim here the innocent babe within a mother's womb? It baffles me as to why this argument isn't enough to address Canada's lack of abortion laws. Also, our so called “advanced” Canadian society could do a lot better at supporting women who find themselves in the situation of an unwanted pregnancy. I would go as far as to say that the government should provide a healthy stipend to any pregnant woman as an incentive to carry the unborn child in her womb to full term followed by adoption if the child is still unwanted. There are plenty of infertile couples waiting to adopt these precious babies. I hope and pray that federal politicians will reopen the abortion debate (Taking Back Morgentaler's Canada, Conservative backbencher keeps abortion debate alive with attack on Canada's 'extremist' origins of life law).

Pride: evil within man's heart

Getting back to the topic of pride, I think that everyone should seriously pay attention to it. Like cholesterol, there are two kinds of pride: one good, one bad. The good form of pride is justified. Things like family pride and honour, pride of one's culture, parental pride of children, pride for a city's hockey team, or to be proud of one's country would normally be considered to be good.

However, every one of these forms of pride can easily cross over into the bad form, which is unjustified. By definition, the bad form of pride shows itself when a person or group has desire or hunger for recognition and status, which is undeserved. St. Thomas Aquinas referred to this kind of pride as the attempt to achieve a "perverse excellence."

Family pride and honour can become twisted when rivalries between or within families erupt. Family pride or honour can become an issue when, for example, one family's status would consider it inappropriate for a member of the family to marry into a family with a lower status. This happens in India all the time. Even within families, fathers within certain cultures have been known to kill their own daughters; so called, honour-killings. The issue here is the father's bruised pride, driving him to murder his own child. This demonstrates how wicked people can become when pride shows its ugly face. Of course honour-killing is not common in the western world, but pride stemming from the desire to keep up with the Jones' is typical, and we should always be mindful of it.

The bad form of pride is the mother of all evils, and it is sneaky. I would argue that all good forms of pride have the potential to morph into the bad form of pride once a person starts to think of himself or herself as better than another. To be proud of one's family or to have family honour may seem to be a good thing, but as previously mentioned, it can become murderous. Similarly, to take pride in one's culture may seem harmless, but it can become evil when a person begins to think that his or her culture (food, music, identity, customs, etc.) is somehow superior to another culture. Once this bad form of pride sets in, then all other sins follow quite easily: avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth (Catechism of the Catholic Church - 1866).

Humility is the antidote

The antidote to pride is humility. Christmas teaches the world about humility in a remarkable way. Christians believe in the Incarnation of Christ: the greatest example of humility where God becomes human flesh. If God can reduce Himself to the level of a human, then humans should be able to have humility before others. It is a sign that God chose to reveal Himself to humanity as the weakest form of a human being - a baby. If this isn't the greatest example of humility, I don't know what is.

This week many people in the world celebrate the birth of Jesus for twelve days, and believers in the Son of God are humbled in knowing that God Himself entered His creation to redeem us from our sins. All He asks of us is to repent of our sins, and to keep our hearts open to receive His love and grace. In this way we willingly want to follow and love Him above all things, with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind.

I pray for all the suffering pregnant women out there who are considering having an abortion. May they think about the meaning of Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus, and think of Him clinging to the Blessed Virgin Mary. With humility, anything is possible for the Lord. All we need is to have faith in Him.

Psalm 139:13-16

13 For thou didst form my inward parts,

    thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful.

    Wonderful are thy works!

Thou knowest me right well;

15  my frame was not hidden from thee,

when I was being made in secret,

    intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.

16 Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance;

    in thy book were written, every one of them,

the days that were formed for me,

    when as yet there was none of them.

17 How precious to me are thy thoughts, O God!

    How vast is the sum of them!

18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.

    When I awake, I am still with thee.



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We provide commentary on the cultural decline of the Western world, from a conservative perspective.