The Sin of Pride is foremost of the Seven Deadly Sins. Medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas said of pride: “inordinate self-love is the cause of every sin… the root of pride is found to consist in man not being, in some way, subject to God and His rule.” Pride is excessive belief in one’s own abilities, that interferes with the individual’s recognition of the grace of God. The sin of pride is a preoccupation with self. Pride is what caused Lucifer to fall from heaven and it was the sin of pride which first led Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit in the Garden.
Pride and the desire for self-glory - to “be like God” - is rebellion against God. Man was made by God in the image of God - to represent God as his image bearer. In the Fall, the image of God as seen in humanity was marred. Man became less than truly human because the intimate relationship man had with God was broken - man was hollowed out only to be filled with the very sin that had caused the rupture - the stuffing of pride and self-aggrandizement.
T.S. Eliot, in the process of turning his life towards God recognized the sin of pride and the desire for self-glory in himself. The key to faith, for Eliot, was the “negation of self” - the discipline to turn away from the worldly things which only served to distract and cause one to head in the wrong direction. For Eliot, vanity and pride were the destroyers of the soul and what served to separate each of us from God. Repentance and penitence were the solution.