Haughty By Nature
“When a person becomes haughty, his root is traced and exposed. Woe betides him if his origin has skeletons.” ~ Vincent Okay Nwachukwu
On his hit TV Show, “You Bet Your Life,” the peerless Groucho Marx would announce what he would affectionately call “the secret word of the day“ which he would reveal to his TV audience prior to every show. Should a contestant speak this secret word, typically a common every day word that Groucho would attempt to subtly induce by virtue of his clever ability to steer the conversation, a toy duck resembling Groucho ~ with eyeglasses and a mustache no less ~ works descend from the ceiling bearing a $100 prize. For those of you wondering, yes, $100 used to be a lot of money. . . and yes, men used to grow mustaches.
Mustachioed mallards on the other hand were somewhat less common.
Although the prophet Ezekiel is hardly one to keep a secret, particularly in matters pertaining to evangelization (Ezek 33:7), the Lord definitely had a word of the day in store for him in today’s 1st Reading (Ezekiel 28:1-10). Yes, the word of the day is “haughty.”
Haughty is far from a household word, one that you’d be very unlikely to hear around the water cooler, on the checkout line, or in the men’s locker room at Gold’s Gym. As a fan of the long-running TV Sitcom Frasier, I could most definitely see Niles, over a skinny half-caff latte at Cafe Nervosa, accuse Frasier of being haughty. Or vice versa. But I wouldn’t expect, for example, that you’d hear the word uttered during tonight’s Democratic Convention. Nor at next week’s Republican get-together for that matter. In any event, the Lord‘s poignant and stern message came to Ezekiel by way of the following diatribe:
“Because you are haughty of heart, you say, “A god am I! I occupy a godly throne in the heart of the sea! And yet you are a man, and not a god, however you may think yourself like a god. Oh yes, you are wiser than Daniel, there is no secret that is beyond you. By your wisdom and your intelligence you have made riches for yourself; You have put gold and silver into your treasuries. By your great wisdom applied to your trading you have heaped up your riches; your heart has grown haughty from your riches.”
”Turkish author Mehmet Murat ildan calls haughtiness “the high-heel shoe of low men.” Of this unsavory trait, he says “even if you are the Sun itself, do not be haughty, because you will nevertheless die down.” One would have to admit that in many respects, our world too, particularly those countries steeped in affluence and secularism, has become haughty and god-like (small “g”) in a way that triggered the scorn and chastisement of God in today’s Reading. Nowhere of course is this fatal reality more prevalent then with the legalization and broad acceptance of abortion. Today’s Responsorial Psalm tells us all that we need to know as it relates to our Lord’s position on this ruthless slaughter of the innocent In the womb when he proclaims “It is I who deal death and give life.” (Deuteronomy 32:39). Those who stand in favor of abortion believe that they too hold this supreme power, meant only for the One, the only One, who possesses the ability to breathe life into a new soul. In the 12th Chapter of Revelation, we encounter the red-fire dragon with seven heads and ten horns, a prototype of the culture of death so fervently denounced by Saint John Paul II in his teachings, standing before the pregnant woman ready to devour her child at birth. (Rev 12:3-4). Abortion is the proverbial red dragon of our time, the sin of our Nation. As Saint Teresa of Calcutta would go on to say “a nation that kills its children in the womb has lost its soul.”
This haughtiness is made manifest too amongst those who espouse what Cardinal Sarah calls “the truly insane and deadly so-called ‘gender’ theory.” Those who question the biological realities of the all-knowing and prescient will of God cannot even get past the first book of the Bible (Genesis 1:27) without the light of truth shining brightly and tellingly upon their folly. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “It is, therefore, a rebellion against natural and Divine law and a grave sin that a man may attempt to become a woman by mutilating himself, or even by simply declaring himself to be such, or that a woman may in like manner attempt to become a man, or to hold that the civil authority has the duty or the right to act as if such things were or may be possible and legitimate.” (CCC 2297). And then there are those who ignore the natural complementarity of man and woman In their support of the homosexual “marriage.”
Belgian author and artist Erik Pevernagie once lamented “For some, life may be a playground to undermine the brainwaves of others or simply a vainglorious game with an armory of theatrics, illustrating only bleak self-deception, haughty narcissism and dim deficiency in empathy.“ Saint John Bosco, a man who had a keen grasp of human nature, had this to say on the laser-like focus one needs to adapt in order to avoid the fate of those whom Mr. Pevernagie spoke: “Do not think that you live in this world to have fun, to become rich, to eat, drink, and sleep. The end for which you were created is far more noble and sublime. And it is this: To love and serve God in this life, and that way save your soul.”
The Cathecism of the Catholic Church tells us they we are made by God and forGod to partake in his abundant life, for we are made to be with Him for eternity. Original sin, concupiscence, the toxic sludge that passes for pop culture these days; these are but a few of our enemies in this battle of a lifetime. We need the Eucharist, we need to immerse ourselves in provocative and prophetic scripture passages such as today’s, we most certainly need the Sacrament of Reconciliation for when we fall (not if), and we need, now more than ever, a vibrant relationship with Our Blessed Mother Mary, whose Heavenly Queenship we will celebrate layer this week https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Our-Life-Our-Sweetness-Our-Hopeand-Our-Queen. Mary is a reminder of the glorious eternal rewards that await those who are courageous and wise enough to be obedient and faithful to God’s will.
Speaking of later this week, in a few days we will celebrate the Memorial of Saint Pius X. Arguably the greatest Pope of the 20th Century, Pius X stood in strong opposition to the vainglorious and misguided efforts of the “modernists” of his time, those who sought to sully the beauty and reverence of our Catholic Traditions https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Saint-Pius-X-and-Reverence-Lost. Quick to deride what he called “unsound novelty,” He once said “Our Apostolic Mandate requires from us that we watch over the purity of the Faith and the integrity of Catholic discipline. It requires from us that we protect the faithful from evil and error; especially so when evil and error are presented in dynamic language which, concealing vague notions and ambiguous expressions with emotional and high-sounding words, is likely to set ablaze the hearts of men in pursuit of ideals which, whilst attractive, are nonetheless nefarious."
We live in perilous and very confusing times. The emotionally incontinent in our midst have the largest microphone. Oftentimes it would seem they have the only microphone that’s turned on. Our faith and the traditions that accompany it are in fact our only hope of persevering. Remain rooted in the truth of our Lord’s teachings. Remain humble https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Stay-Humble. And most importantly, remember that we are called to serve God...not to put him out of a job.