The Sin of Pride and Lessons from St. Paul’s testimony to King Agrippa
“No matter the wrong, do no violence to your neighbor,
And do not walk the path of arrogance.
Odious to The Lord and to men is arrogance,
Dominion is transferred from one people to another
Because of the violence of the arrogant.
Why are dust and ashes proud?
Even during life man’s body decays;
A slight illness- the doctor jests,
When a man dies, he inherits corruption;
Worms and gnats and maggots.
The beginning of pride is man’s stubbornness
In withdrawing his heart from his Maker;
For pride is the reservoir of sin,
A source which runs over with vice;
Because of it God sends unheard-of afflictions
And brings men to utter ruins.”
(Ecclesiasticus 10: 6-13)
I was listening to a sermon on Video Sancto on reasons why the traditional movement isn’t moving forward as fast as we want it to, and the priest ultimately points to the sin of pride.
The priest was saying that a lot of us who are hurt and angry about the crisis we are in have fallen into the sin of pride.
We often forget that this treasure of tradition that we have found must be shared and defended charitably as St. Peter suggests.
Especially to our brothers and sisters who do not care to understand the importance of Tradition.
St. Paul had to approach nonbelievers in this way in order for them to truly hear his side of the story.
As you know, he’s had many successes in the way he preached the Good News.
And one event in Paul’s life that I found very useful is his testimony to King Agrippa.
Paul’s choice of words and approach is completely awe-inspiring!
“I think myself happy, O king Agrippa, that I am to answer for myself this day before thee, touching all the things whereof I am accused by the Jews.  Especially as thou knowest all, both customs and questions that are among the Jews: Wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.  And my life indeed from my youth, which was from the beginning among my own nation in Jerusalem, all the Jews do know:  Having known me from the beginning (if they will give testimony) that according to the most sure sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.”
Acts of the Apostles 26: 2-5
If you noticed, Paul didn’t jump in with guns loaded, ready to fire Agrippa with stinging words along the lines of “I’m right. YOU’RE WRONG!”.
He seriously humiliated himself by bringing up the first thing about himself which he was most ashamed of- a Pharisee who hated Christians with a passion, and killed them!
What a sight!
Oh, how I wish that one day, I may be as charitable and humble as my dear St. Paul.
And we haven’t even reached the coolest part of this story of St. Paul and King Agrippa!
Read the last part of Paul’s testimony to Agrippa. Agrippa says something very shocking! Well, since he was talking to one of the best communicators of all time, maybe it’s no surprise.
 For the king knoweth of these things, to whom also I speak with confidence. For I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him. For neither was any of these things done in a corner.  Believest thou the prophets, O king Agrippa? I know that thou believest.  And Agrippa said to Paul: In a little thou persuadest me to become a Christian.  And Paul said: I would to God, that both in a little and in much, not only thou, but also all that hear me, this day, should become such as I also am, except these bands.  And the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them.
 And when they were gone aside, they spoke among themselves, saying: This man hath done nothing worthy of death or of bands.  And Agrippa said to Festus: This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed to Caesar.
Acts of the Apostles 26: 26-32
Though we do not read that Agrippa converted to Christianity, his respect of Paul was very high indeed.
That last part about Paul wishing Agrippa to be just like him except for the chains he was wearing was pure saintliness. Amazing,
That is how we should approach people.
Read the Acts of the Apostles, and maybe we can then learn how to reach a solution with our brothers and sisters who are lacking knowledge of the importance of Tradition for the restoration of our Holy Mother Church in the crisis we see today.
In Jesus and Mary,