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132. Vainglory

1. Glory, in the present use of the term, meanspraise that is given to excellence displayed. Such praise may befrom many persons, or from few, or from one, or even from oneself.Now, glory can be vain in three ways: (a) when it is praise forsomething unworthy; (b) when it is praise given by unworthypersons; (c) when it is praise unrelated to God directly, orindirectly as contributing to the spiritual good of man. For any ofthese reasons, glory is called vainglory. Vainglory ismanifestly an inordinateness, and is therefore a sin.

2. Magnanimity refers to honors, and glory is an effect ofhonor; thus true glory falls into the field of magnanimity.Therefore vainglory, the opposite of true glory, is an evil opposedto magnanimity.

3. It is possible for vainglory to be a serious sin, but,for the most part, it is a venial sin. In itself, it is notnecessarily opposed to charity. When, accidentally, it is broughtinto conflict with charity, it is a mortal sin.

4. Vainglory is not mentioned in the list of capital sins.Yet St. Gregory (Moral. xxxi) names it with pride. He saysthat pride is the greatest vice and is found in all sins, but thatvainglory is an immediate offspring of pride, and should be namedas one of the capital sins.

5. St. Gregory further says that vainglory, as a capitalsin, gives direct rise to disobedience, boastfulness, hypocrisy,contention, obstinacy, discord, and the craze for what is new.These vices, St. Gregory calls "the daughters ofvainglory."

"This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"There is nothing which gives greater security to our actions, or more effectually cuts the snares the devil lays for us, than to follow another person’s will, rather than our own, in doing good."
St Philip Neri

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"Lord, here burn, here cut, and dry up in me all that hinders me from going to You, that You may spare me in eternity."
St Louis Bertrand

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