Chalice Lighting 

We light our chalice and its sacred flame will give us light and warmth while we are joined here together.

May its light allow us to see clearly as we explore the complex issue of pride in our lives.

May its warmth help us to be kind to ourselves and to each other as we do so.

~ Gerry Whelan

Thoughts to Ponder

Pride definitions:

1.  a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired. (google)

2.  unreasonable and inordinate self-esteem (personified as one of the deadly sins)

There are two kinds of pride, both good and bad. ‘Good pride’ represents our dignity and self-respect. ‘Bad pride’ is the deadly sin of superiority that reeks of conceit and arrogance. John C. Maxwell

Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us. Jane Austen

Pride slays thanksgiving, but a humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves. Henry Ward Beecher

Pride goeth before a fall (Proverbs)

It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels. Saint Augustine

Pride is the chalice into which all human sins are poured: it glitters and jingles and its arabesque lures your gaze, while your lips involuntarily touch the seductive beverage.Vladimir Odoevsky

A man’s pride can be his downfall, and he needs to learn when to turn to others for support and guidance. Bear Grylls

Professional farmworkers who know how to do a number of different jobs, whether it be pruning or picking or crafting, they see themselves as professionals, and they take a lot of pride in that work. They don’t see themselves as doing work that is demeaning. Dolores Huerta

All anyone asks for is a chance to work with pride. W. Edwards Deming

Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction. Margaret Thatcher

I want to make it clear that the black race did not come to the United States culturally empty-handed. The role and importance of ethnic history is in how well it teaches a people to use their own talents, take pride in their own history and love their own memories. John Henrik Clarke

Bad food is made without pride, by cooks who have no pride, and no love… Anthony Bourdain



Think of a time when your pride got you in trouble or hurt someone else. Try to see where that pride came from. Were you trying to impress someone, prove that you could do something, felt that you were above the rules? Are there ways you could undo the damage that your misplaced pride led you to do?

Think of something of which you are justly proud and feel good about. Where did this pride come from? Can the synonyms pleasure, joy, delight, gratification, fulfillment, satisfaction help you identify things you are proud of?


Spiritual Exercises

1. Bring to mind three people, they could be family, people you work or have worked with, friends from social venues or even USG, of whom you are proud. They may have accomplished great things, overcome obstacles or just done something really good.

a)  Take a close look at whether you had some part in what they achieved (support, encouragement, advice, lending money) or if they achieved what they did on their own or with the help of others. Notice whether that makes any difference in your feeling of pride for them.

b)  Reach out to as many of these people as possible, ideally in person but phone or email would be okay, and just tell them that you want them to know that you are proud of them for what they have done. And just see where the conversation goes.

2. There are two ways to look at things, what you did wrong and what you did well. Try doing something that gives you pride, that you otherwise might have felt bad about (eg, you left your hat at the movie theater, you could beat yourself up about leaving your hat or you could feel good about the fact that you remembered it in time to go back and get it.)


To watch: Just Do You, India.Arie

To sing:

Just As Long As I Have Breath, 6 Singing the Living Tradition

Just as long as I have breath, I must answer yes to life;

Though with pain I made my way, still with hope I meet each day.

If they ask what I did well, tell them I said yes to life.

Just as long as vision lasts, I must answer yes to truth;

In my dreams and in my dark, always: that elusive spark.

If they ask what I did well, tell them I said yes to truth.

Just as long as my heart beats, I must answer yes to love;

Disappointment pierced me through, still I kept on loving you.

If they ask what I did best, tell them I said yes to love.

Extinguishing the chalice

May the insights and realizations we have garnered in the light and warmth of the flame of our chalice stay with us and guide us as we extinguish our chalice.