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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

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The Vice of Vainglory

QUESTIONS:

Hi, I’m not a Christian but I have interest in the vice of vainglory. I would like to know if vainglory is something seen as bad and what type of persona would be defined as vainglory? What would it take to be seen as someone who represents vainglory? In other words, I’d like to know the persona of someone with strong vainglory. What type of persona are they? Are they bad and what is vainglory? I’ve researched it a lot and all the explanations are quite complex and I can only understand them to a small extent.

RESPONSE:

The term “vainglory” is just an old term for excessive vanity.  It is an obsessive concern about how others perceive you.  It signifies a person who prizes himself too much and others too little.  Pride can be good and bad.  One should have a pride that represents the truth about oneself and achievements.  Vainglory would signify a swelling of pride that damages the truth where one overestimates one’s worth.  The result is usually a snobbish attitude toward others.  Just as vainglory compels one to exaggerate personal value and achievements; it also forces one to belittle the meaning and contribution of others.  The smaller they become, the bigger we can imagine ourselves.  The focus is very narcissistic.  The world revolves around you.  Instead of giving praise to others or even glory to God, such a person imagines that he is the source of all the benefits he enjoys.  Such boasting always leads to contention and opposition to others.  Such a person wants things done his way and is dismissive of the contributions and even the support of others.  As with so many vices, it readily leads to disobedience.   

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