Pride and Humility


“Therefore when thou dost an alms-deed, sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be honoured by men. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward.”

In the episode about the Mysterious Mare-Do-Well, Rainbow Dash gets unusually cocky even for herself after she saves another pony from harm. After she is praised for saving that pony, she begins to get that fame to her head and gradually becomes more self-serving in her deeds. Eventually her only purpose for saving others is to get all the glory and she even begins to start causing problems in order to stop them. In an effort to teach her about some humility, her friends get together and start playing tricks on her. Dash later discovers that there are several Mare-Do-Wells and not just one. In the end, Dash learned that you should never do good deeds for the sake of vainglory. Jesus Christ warned about false charity when He told the apostles about what the Pharisees do (rf. Matthew 6:2).  The Church teaches there are seven deadly sins: pride is one of them; she also teaches there are seven virtues: humility is one of them.  Humility directly counters pride.  Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote, “Pride is directly opposed to the virtue of humility, . . . so it belongs to humility to withdraw the mind from the inordinate desire of great things against presumption” (Summa Theologica II-II:162:1:3).  He also wrote, “Vainglory is reproved in connection with almsdeeds on account of the lack of charity apparent in one who prefers vainglory to the good of his neighbor” (ibid, 132:5:3).

So when we do help others, let’s think of the Lord’s words: “But when thou dost alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth” (Matthew 6:3).  So we should ask ourselves: Do I really care for this person and care for giving the glory to God or am I doing this for fame.


3 thoughts on “Pride and Humility

  1. I read a fanfic once that was written as a sort of sequel to Mysterious Mare-Do-Well, which touched upon some of the shortcomings of the episode. Basically, it was Twilight talking to each one of her friends and finding that none of them really wanted to do it, and learning how thoroughly badly she treated the whole situation. Yes, Dash was being an arrogant jerk, but the way the remaining Mane 6 dealt with it was NOT through gentle correction, but through humiliation: showing her up and making her feel utterly alone and worthless.
    Not the most Catholic approach to correcting bad behavior. Needless to say, I think the fic had a much better friendship lesson than the episode.
    I’ll see if I can find it again.


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