“Vainglory is the excessive and disordered desire for recognition and approval from others,” according to Rebecca DeYoung in her book Glittering Vices. While this definition might bring to mind preening celebrities or self-absorbed leaders, vainglory finds expression in our everyday lives. Closer to home, we can glory in our newly landscaped yard, outstanding children that supposedly reflect well on their parents, an attractive, clean or “put together” house, seeing our name in print or dropping the right name, place or event with which we’ve been associated. We are skilled at satisfying the ” . . . excessive and disordered desire for recognition and approval through the recognition and approval of others.”
This Sunday is the second in a series on the Seven Deadly Sins. We are following the list as compiled by St. Thomas Aquinas, who substitutes “vainglory” for “pride,” judging the latter to be of a different class of sin. Pride is not merely one in a list of seven, he argues, but in a class of its own as the root of all. This Sunday we will touch on pride in general, but look more specifically at its manifestation as “vainglory.” And we will turn our affections to Jesus in wholehearted adoration, to the praise of His glory.