Tag Archives: abortion

Pride Comes Before a Fall

Credit: David Lazar

The title of this post is a common saying. It’s so common that a lot of people don’t know that it’s from the Bible (Proverbs 16:18). For instance, this online dictionary doesn’t mention any biblical source: It’s merely referred to as an idiom in the English language.

All of the verses in the Book of Proverbs are awesome, and we need to apply them to our lives. However, verse 18 of chapter 16 (“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall”) is one that I consider extremely important — a key in maintaining my faith and humility in order to stay close to God.

A minister at a certain Protestant-based church that I used to attend taught me the acronym KISS. No, the minister wasn’t a fan of the rock group of the same name (at least not that I knew of). It stands for “keep it simple, stupid.” Now, stupid isn’t a very polite word. We don’t let our kids say it. However, I’ve heard variations of it at work and even in my parish such as “keep it simple, silly” or “keep it short and simple.” (The latter sort of adds more meaning to it, so I don’t particularly like that one. But if you do, then that’s totally cool.)

I’m mentioning all this because “pride comes before a fall” is one of those wise sayings in the Bible that is in line with the KISS philosophy. And, wouldn’t you know it, those are the things that I tend to forget all about when push comes to shove in my spiritual life.

I’ve been doing well (i.e. abstaining from mortal sin, praying, going to Mass every Sunday, et cetera). So well that I actually thought that I was invincible against certain types of sin: lust, anger, and gossip to name a few.

I was under an illusion. The Evil One is always at work, scheming up ways to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8). Spiritual warfare rages on every day, every hour, every minute. Angels and demons are going head-to-head right now all around me as I type (and all around you as you’re reading). This Present Darkness is a good book that illustrates this biblical concept.

I’ve finished the first week of the fall semester at my job, and, while it was hectic, things went fairly well. I didn’t realize that my prayer time was going downhill. I had been praying a little less than usual, but my heart wasn’t in it. I was still in the mindset, though, that I was winning the battle against the darkness; never mind the fact that I was becoming more susceptible to temptation and outright sin.

If you’ve kept up with my posts, you’ll know that my wife is basically a non-practicing Buddhist/Shintoist (I’ll let you think on that for a second). She’s cool with my being Catholic. The only issue that we stay away from is abortion; although we agree to disagree on this subject, it still comes up from time to time. So, like the bumper sticker says, we “coexist.”

Anyway, we were driving to the park this morning, and my wife, Ayako, was telling me about a recent situation she had with a Christian friend named Molly. They were standing near a pond, and Molly told her son to get away from the edge because she didn’t want him to fall in. Her son said, “I won’t fall in.”

Ayako tried to remember what Molly said in reply. “She said something like ‘If you’re too confident, you’ll fall in too easily’ I think.”

After a moment, I said, “Oh, you mean ‘pride comes before a fall.'”

“Yes! How did you know?”

“Because it’s from the Bible. It’s really famous.” I changed the subject to something else, quickly forgetting about that verse from Proverbs.

Little did I know that God was giving me one last chance to repent before He would humble me.

Sure enough, later in the day, my house of cards collapsed. I found myself plunged into various types of sin that, just a week ago, thought that I was above and too good for.

Broken and troubled, I turned to prayer. Not the superficial kind that I had been practicing, but the real, honest, gut-check kind.

I heard God’s whisper in my heart almost immediately: Pride comes before a fall.

Boy, does it.

How could I have been so bone-headed?

Because you’re human. Now get back up and continue the race.

I felt like I had finally pulled my head out of the ground where it had been stuck for the past few weeks. What an amazing feeling.

It’s even more amazing to be reminded about God’s love for us. He was giving me signs that I thought didn’t pertain to me. He allowed me to fall in order for me to learn my lesson. When I came to my senses, God was waiting with open arms.

In the Parable of the Lost Son, Jesus tells how God will always forgive us, no matter how badly we mess up (Luke 15:11-32). After the son squanders his inheritance and reaches rock bottom, he decides to go back to his father:

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’

~t


Having a Bad Day

mental illness

Well, as you know from the title of my blog and from previous posts, I suffer from various mental issues.  Looking back at the blog post from yesterday, I’m like, “Did I write that?”  It seems so polished and… encouraging.  I’m not saying that I faked it or anything, but I’m not typically a motivating person.

My brain is in a constant fog due to my meds.  I also think it’s a long-term effect from last summer when I attempted to end my life (the first of two attempts that season).  I hit rock bottom — actually, the bottom fell out and I fell down even further.  I didn’t expect to mention this so soon on my blog, but what the heck.  Due to various problems and things that I was dealing with at the time and things that had been building up, one event triggered me to attempt suicide.  I drank about five margaritas, each with extra tequila shots.  I then stumbled to my car and swallowed a full bottle of Xanax — about 40 milligrams.

By the grace of God, I survived and suffer no physical repercussions to this day; however, I really think that the experience left me with a permanently clouded mind.  Even at times when I don’t take Xanax or my other meds, I still suffer from incoherency and mental aloofness (as my wife says, it could just be due to my being a male).

For the past couple months, my lower lip has been feeling numb to the point where it’s sometimes difficult to talk clearly, and there is a constant ringing in my ears.  (Which reminds me: I need to tell my doctor.)  Even if these are a result of my suicide attempts, I try to keep a positive attitude because it could have been A LOT worse.

You’re probably thinking, All that tequila and 40 mg of Xanax?  And you’re still alive?!  You must be fat as hell!  Actually, I’m quite tall, and my weight is proportionate to my height.  I believe, though, that God wanted me to remain alive to carry out His plan in me.  Why else would I still be on earth, typing out these coherent thoughts?

Anyway, I’m up and down.  Today happens to be a down day for me.  I am teaching a morning class during my college’s first summer session, and my mood was so bad this morning, and I felt so destructive and enraged that I almost cancelled my class.  All I can say is thank goodness for medication.

What made me feel destructive and enraged?  Last night I got tired of all the liberal crap that my “friends” (Ha ha.  Right.) on Facebook were posting.  I am very shy, quiet, and introverted.  I am not affiliated with any one political party; it depends on the issue.  However, I am pro-life and support other “conservative” issues.

Speaking of being conservative, I was pretty much “in the closet” about my political views up until yesterday.  I reached that breaking point, though, and felt the time was right to rant — which is something I never do on Facebook (I try to be as professional and benign as possible since I’m an educator).

After ranting against a “friend” who always posts pro-abortion propaganda, I lost it (my temper, that is).  I confronted him, and…

Nothing.

The ultra-liberal New Yorker backed off by stating: “I’m not getting into a debate.  You have your beliefs, and I have mine.”

Damn.  Talk about feeling like a jerk.

The Holy Spirit whispered to me and said, Topaz, you should have been the one to be cool and let it go.  Why couldn’t I do that?!  I was so angry at myself!  He is the baby-killing atheist, and I’m supposed to be the practicing Catholic who is also a fourth-degree Sir Knight.  WTF?  (Sorry to any Evangelicals reading this — we Catholics throw around potty-mouth words sometimes.  At least I didn’t spell out WTF.)

Hulk

O David Banner, pray for me.

When I get angry, it’s pretty bad.  I feel like a monster is inside me, and I’m terrified that it will burst out.  I know how David Banner feels when he’s about to turn into The Incredible Hulk.  Not a good feeling at all.

Yesterday I felt like I was playing the part of Super Christian.  Today, I am the polar opposite.

Welcome to my mind!

~topaz