This is an extension of some previous posts.
There is something called group narcissism, in which a person takes pride in belonging to a specific group, and otherwise suffers the same problems of pride (narcissism) that one would suffer for oneself, only about the group.
This group can be based on an interest, an affiliation, something your family or parents belonged to, or a materialistic definition, such as your class in society, age, gender, or race.
This pride can be an obstacle to having a relationship with God and having a sound mind and a sound definition of yourself and of reality.
It is most pronounced when there is a divisions of persons based on a group: for example, children vs adults, men vs women, poor vs rich, healthy vs sick, racial slurs, etc. These are usually done for the purpose of pride, in order to manipulate people.
You'll notice Jesus never does this. Not once in his whole ministry.
Because Jesus was meek and humble of heart.
For example, even in the Old Testament, which has a lot of battles over land led by kings, there are even occasionally cries to "act manfully" to kill the enemy. (men vs women) Whereas in the New Testament, when Jesus comes, He exhorts everyone to ask God for the grace of courage, and those who rely on their own strength, such as St Peter, leave Jesus alone during His Passion. Yet, many many women risked terrible punishment to be near Him during His Passion. We can assume that they had asked God for courage through devotion to the Sacred Heart, like St John the Evangelist (I've heard him once called John the Virgin), who leaned on Jesus' Sacred Heart and obtained the grace to be courageous and so followed Jesus through pretty much all of His Passion, except the moment where he fled Jesus being arrested.
Jesus has many warriors and He does not care if they are old, sick, young, healthy, men, women, poor, middle class, or rich, or what their genealogies are, their families or their race. And you should not care, either.
I think a strong indicator is that if you see someone doing better than you, and your heart feels that prick of the pain of competitiveness, of pride, of envy, of either wanting to destroy another person for doing better than you or desperately wanting to compete with them, then you know you are having this issue of pride. Anxiety of pride.
This group narcissism, competitiveness, pride of wanting to be the best, wanting to manipulate others, etc is extremely important to overcome through prayer and repentance because it was group narcissism, as well as personal narcissism, that lead to Jesus' crucifixion.
The leaders instigated the crucifixion through envy, and through following the group, indentifying with the group, not thinking, not praying, but getting caught up in the group, the people crucified Jesus.
God sees you as an individual. This is very difficult to understand because pretty much the entire world sees you as a statistic; you might even see yourself as a statistic. I do not think the vast majority of parents think of their children as individual immortal souls made in the image and likeness of God destined for eternal salvation, whom God Himself has placed in their care so that they can draw out their children's skills and foster their children's spiritual lives. I do not think that most parents have sought God thoroughly enough to think that way.
I saw this because the world would not be what it is now if parents were like that, and I would not get so many prayer requests from parents complaining their children aren't worldly successful, rich, married, etc., or whatever idea the parents have for the child's life.
I'm not asking you to blame your mother and father for not raising you right. I'm asking you to see them as individuals, also: sinners, just like you, and that you need to reject teachings that are not from God, whether from your parents, your society, or from your own self, and pray the Rosary "for the purpose of knowing the Truth and receiving contrition and pardon for your sins" every day for your entire life. That way, you will be getting your strength from God, like St John and the numerous holy women who were Jesus' holy soldiers.
You are being called to be a holy soldier.
Not a holy soldier man, or a holy soldier woman, or a holy soldier American [or whatever your nationality], or a holy soldier rich or poor person, or a holy soldier healthy or sick person, or a holy soldier old or young person --
you are called by God to be a holy soldier you.
Among every person in the entire world alive right now, God made you and sees you as an individual.
Among every human being God ever created in ALL OF TIME, past, present, and future, God created you unique and individual from all of them.
There are many external similarities, but that is inconsequential to God because He sees much, much deeper than the shallow surface or the shallow statistic.
He sees your soul.
The more sin we have on our soul, the more we are like other sinners.
Narcissism is an interesting concept, it is described as pride in the Bible. There is no cure for narcissism in psychiatry. The vast majority of narcissists do not seek a cure, it is usually people who have to live with them who want them to be cured. But there is no psychiatric cure because narcissism is not a psychiatric disorder.
It is a spiritual disorder in which one places oneself above God. One makes a false idol out of oneself.
This is, therefore, described in Catholicism as a demonic personality, because the first person who ever make a false idol out of himself was Satan and because the narcissist attracts so much demonic activity into his or her life through a very insincere spiritual life.
We can identify all narcissists because they all share the same traits: they are controlling (it is a control disorder), they care very much what others think of them, they are excessively self-focused (self-hate and/or self-love), they are willing to sacrifice others for something that they want, they don't really see other people as completely real and certainly not as having as much value on God's eyes as they have in God's eyes, they generally want fame or to be remembered in all of history of humanity although they spend no time acknowledging those other people who have come before them as they are often chronocentric (meaning they don't believe people in the past or future will be human like they are human) and always self-absorbed, and they generally hate women (even if they are women; and by "hate women" I also mean, not seeing women as individuals, or thinking that if a woman has a good trait it is from "instinct" or some other belittling trait rather than her own virtue, which they never acknowledge).
The reason narcissists hate women even if they are women is because Satan hates women. I'm basing this on what theologians and exorcists have said. The reason Satan hates women -- although he hates men too, and other demons, and angels, and God, because he's full of hatred -- but the reason he wages a war against women specifically is because of the Fall. The Fall refers to when God created the angelic spirits at the beginning of time and He gave them a choice as to whether or not they wanted to be in Heaven with Him for all eternity or to be separated from Him in the torments of Heck. Choosing sin and therefore Heck is choosing to not be in God's company, and is referred to as "falling from [God's] grace," meaning being separated from the grace of God, the way a tree branch is cut off from a tree and withers up and dies (or goes insane, filled with rage, remorse, etc). Hence why demons are called "fallen angels." When the spirits at this beginning test chose to reject God and be confined to everlasting horror rather than the joy of sharing with God for eternity, Heck was created, in which the spirits could exist without feeling the least grace of God. This moment was called The Fall, in which they fell from grace. There was no physical fall, because the spirits are ... spirits! But it is how we, as corporeal and spiritual beings, can understand this. The demons chose to fall because they wanted to worship themselves instead of God, even though they knew that it was a really bad decision and they would be filled with eternal rage, eternal hate, eternal vengeance, and all unimaginable and unnameable horrors, as it is true that "eye has not seen nor ear heard what God has in store for those who love Him," that also no one can imagine the horrors of what is in store for those who hate Him.
Why, then, would they choose to Fall? Part of the reason was that they foresaw that God was to create the human race, and that if there was a fall from grace, God would assume the form of a human to redeem humanity. This was repulsive to them, because humans are so far below the angelic spirits. But what was really really horrible to their delicate pride was that God would not only come as a human but also choose to have a human mother, and that she would be so imminently holy that she would be raised ABOVE the angelic spirits in Heaven. She would actually be holier, more mighty, more powerful, more intelligent, more loving, etc., than the angels themselves, and the angels in Heaven would call her their Queen, that God would send His angel to hail her as "full of grace." Meaning literally, filled with grace. Above any of His other creations.
And that it would be given to this woman to be the most powerful weapon in God's army, as well as the head of God's army. That it would be given to her to crush them.
They could, perhaps, stand the idea of God as a man defeating them, because they were so lofty in their self-aggrandizement that they could think that only God can defeat them.
But the idea of a purely human, let alone a purely human woman, defeating them...
And so they cried out, "we will not serve!" And plunged themselves into the eternal abyss through their pride.
And so the Devil wages an endless war against women because of the Virgin. Even though most humans don't know Mary, many women reject God themselves, the Devil still hates them out of his blind sexism.
That is why you will see people say, Mary was so caring because she was a mother or because of "maternal instinct," which is untrue, Herodias was a mother and could have cared less, and Mary was hailed as full of grace before she was a mother -- she is so caring because she reflects God so perfectly, which has nothing to do with her being a woman or a parent or anything, it has to do with her soul's response to God; or that Mary is sort of just this empty corporeal vessel which God "used" to "get" His human form, which is untrue because when a woman praised Jesus' mother for her body, Jesus corrected the woman and praised Mary for her spiritual gift of obedience to God (which means rejection and rebellion at the ways of the world).
Mary prayed, and God came into the world.
That is why the Rosary is so important: Mary will pray and bring God into our souls...
If there are anti-christs, there are anti-Marys. When we examine Mary's life, we see God's works in her life. And we see Mary's response to God. That is the entirety of Mary's life. Therefore we can conclude that the chief anti-Marys are priests who do not sincerely respond to God. Because priests' role is to pray and to directly bring Jesus into the world through the Eucharist. The second primary set of anti-Marys are the other religious, monks and nuns, who do not take their work of prayer and seeking God sincerely, because through their prayers they are to be the Apostles of the world and save many souls through prayer.
The second tier of anti-Marys are the lukewarm laypeople, who do not pray, who are not interested in seeking God, participating in the Sacraments (or only do so to receive human praise), are narcissistic, feigned piety, etc.
You'll notice that the anti-Marys are also the anti-Christs. This is because Mary reflects Christ. Mary's tears reflect Jesus' tears, and Jesus is God. These tears are always for the salvation of our souls because they love us and they want us -- all of us, you, me, our neighbors, those who persecute us, those who torment us, those who are kind to us, those who are lying and bad to us -- they want them all to be saved from Heck. Heck was made for the rebellious angels, not for us. That is why we must pray every day for the salvation of souls, especially the Rosary through which Mary crushes and slays, swords and spears, punches and steps on, all the demons, by the redeeming power of the Cross of Christ, and prays to bring God into our lives, our souls.
This is why Mary is co-redemptrix. The co-redeemer. Only Jesus is our Savior, our redeemer. Ultimately, God alone must be our Mother, Father, brother, sister, our everything, our all. But He gave us Mary to be our mother, our example, our guide, our champion, our warrior, our confidant, our defender, our protector -- to lead us perfectly to God, to make us also as filled up with grace as we are capable of being filled with. Mary wants to share her grace. God made her great in order to help us miserable sinners, to help our souls know God.
So that is the Fall, and that is the current state of man, and that is why it all is as it is. Because of original sin, it is quite observable that we are more inclined to listen to the ways of the world, the lies of the world, and the Devil, than we are to listen to God and His holy friends.
But if we pray, if we become the children of Mary as Jesus wants us to (His last dying words on the Cross are "behold your mother"), then we can also become Jesus' warriors, and learn to be very humble and brave and pure, like Mary, like Jesus.
And that is why narcissists (should I say, we ourselves?), under the binds of original sin, hate women, even women narcissists: because of the eternal battle between the Devil and his followers and Mary, the Woman of Revelation and Co-Redemptrix who will perfectly lead us to her Son, God.
When we follow the world, when we ignore our sins and say we don't have any rather than praying to know our sins and hand them over to God to ask for His grace to not sin any more, when we rely on our own strength instead of the strength of God, or when we rely on the strength of wealth or the strength of other people, which will always fail, or when we rely on the group narcissism and the love of and strength of whatever group we define ourselves as or associate with, then we share all the same characteristics of all of those bound by the same sins.
That is why it seems difficult to believe sometimes that people are individuals. That we are individuals. Because when we sin, we lose our individuality, our personality, who we are, and we act like everyone else who sins.
Ironically when we focus on ourselves, on finding who we are, we become so self-focused that we lose ourselves. Because God did not create us for ourselves. God created us for Him. So when we forget ourselves and think of serving Him, and loving Him and loving what He loves, and asking for the grace to be meek and humble of heart, then our individuality becomes fleshed out. We become who we are supposed to be.
No one was born for sin: we were born to know God -- in the depths of our souls!
The more we wholeheartedly seek God, give up the world, pray, repent of our sins, pray to know our sins so we can repent of them, pray to know and understand God, the more we internally, in our souls, become an individual.
This is what God wants for us. To reject all the attachment to this stuff and come to Him. And He knows we are weak, so if you want to but feel you can't, that's what He came to us for, that's what He sends His mother to us for. So we will pray and grow in grace and holiness.
That's why it is important to pray "for the purpose of knowing the truth and receiving contrition and pardon for our sins." So many people pray to drown out God's voice or to try to make God serve their false idols to people or stuff or themselves, or to hide their sins under God's holy robe or Mary's mantle.
But Jesus said that He is the Truth. God is Love, God is the Truth. We, who are bound by original sin, whose ears are open to the world and its falsehoods, to the temptations of the Devil, but pray to know God. We don't just inherently know God, we must seek God. We must do this in sincere prayer, praying to know God, to know the Truth. God is the Truth.
Sin keeps us from the Truth, from God. If we say "sorry" without meaning we feel sorrow over our sins, without striving to give up our sins, then our "sorry" becomes a lie, doesn't it? But we cannot have the ability to feel sincerely contrite over our sins unless we ask God for that grace. God is Good. We need God in order to be good. We need to pray to be able to feel contrition for our sins, to even know what our sins are so that we can be close to God Who loves us, pleasing to Him. Then we will be leaning on God's Heart, the way St John leaned on God's Heart during the Last Supper, and had the grace to endure the Crucifixion along with the holy women, when everyone else ran away...
Let us imitation the virtues of these holy people, so that we will not be like the evil soldiers who fell down dead when Jesus resurrected, like the tree Jesus withered that produced no good fruit; but rather so that we will be like His friends Who had come to tend to His body in the tomb and found God's holy angel who told them He was alive.
If we pray for the grace to receive true contrition, then we can receive pardon for our sins.
So, pray every day for the rest of your life, "for the purpose of knowing the Truth and receiving contrition and pardon for your sins," especially the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
God loves YOU as an individual. He does not care about labels and statistics and any of these external things.
He wants YOU. He wants you to want Him so that He can cleanse you and make you into who you are supposed to be, live up to the full potential of grace and skill that God intended for you during your life, and so God can protect you.
This plan of salvation is open to everyone!
On a similar note:
In the events following the Gospel, we see, for example, that St Paul says that women are not to speak in a Church but ask their husbands at home for what the teaching meant.
But then in other parts of St Paul's life, he proclaims to Good News to women, and these women proclaim God's salvation to their whole families and bring their whole families into God's friendship. St Paul also has many sisters in Christ who help him spread the Word of God, and it is true that in the Gospels the first evangelist of Christ (besides the Archangel Gabriel) is a woman, Anna of Phanuel. An old and very holy widow, was Anna -- she was like St John the Baptist.
And we also see that the Church has women Saints who are Doctors of the Church, in other words, whose teachings are so invaluable that they are considered to have "doctored" the Church. St Therese of Liseux being one of the most important works you can read in your life for learning to come to God and be a Saint.
I have often thought about all of this and I have observed something in the lives of Saints as well as in the families of laypeople.
God said that the world will fall to the meek. We can only be meek, sincerely meek, when we repent of our sins and seek God sincerely.
We can see many times when the world was dominated by bloodthirsty cowards, men and women rulers, kings or queens who waged wars for profit and were shrewd in whatever it was that their business was. History is full of these people. And the meek, seem often to have been beheaded by the mighty.
But when I look at people's families and lives and the lives of Saints, what I see is that whomever is the one who sincerely seeks God wholeheartedly, gives up the world, puts up with others, is trampled on and despised and overlooked by all but seeks God wholeheartedly, as a sword blade being fashioned in the heat of an oven -- that it is this person who invariably becomes the leader of the family or in some respect.
Because it is this person who leads the family (or if not the family than other souls) to God. The world, aka the family or whatever souls are brought to God, fall to the meek. Give way to the meek.
I have seen little old men of whom the world makes no account, I have seen little girls, little boys, old women, I have seen hospitalized and sick, I have seen the dying, I have seen cripples, I have seen those who were diagnosably insane or disorder, I have seen the poor, I have seen the rich, I have seen -- everyone, everyone, who wholeheartedly sought God, lead others to God.
There was a little girl in the beginning of the Maoist revolution of China and she was the only person in her class and her family who was brave enough to stand up to the Maoist soldiers. Everyone else ran away when they burst in with guns, by the grace of God she sat there with her head up and looked them in the eye and refused to back down to them, refused to renounce Jesus in the Eucharist. Even after they shot her, she still tried to lift her head in her God-given dignity and courage. Because Jesus was with her to suffer for Him. And undoubtedly she is among the saints of Heaven right now, today, as you read this, a hero for her God and her land.
(so, I don't know why St Paul said that about that particular community, but it has undoubtedly been taken out of context and used to hurt and control people by narcissists over the centuries. Because like I said, Paul notes many women who preached God and helped him. It must have been specific to that community, perhaps. ... Perhaps there are communities in which, the majority of men are so inundated with pride and impurity that they would also be warned against, and it is only our own sexism/heresy that makes us think Paul was talking about all women. Perhaps like our contemporary porn-induced, foul-mouthed society, in which so many young men defile themselves through sin. ... It doesn't matter, though, what the majority of people are doing: God sees YOU as an individual, and NOT a statistic, and YOU must work to build up the kingdom of God in your own soul that many other people will come to be saved through your prayers and your seeking of God, especially through prayer and devotion to the holy Eucharist and sacramental confession, also. Jesus loves you. Mary loves you. Love them back!)
I have never seen the proud or those with group narcissism lead anyone to God. I have seen a lot of group narcissism inundate the Church. Women's groups, men's groups, business men's groups, ethnic women's groups. Etc. Little categories, when God Himself wants us all learning from one another and all together with each other.
I have only seen group narcissists be manipulated and try to manipulate others. God is Sincerity. God is service. There is no manipulation with God. There is no lording over with God. His burden is light. Jesus never manipulates anyone.
So, if you want to be a leader, be the last of all. Seek God wholeheartedly. Do not have too much attachment to money or to your family or to human opinion, even your own opinion, but seek God. Pray very much for the purpose of knowing the Truth and receiving contrition and pardon for your sins. Love Mary very much.
You can save many souls, many even your family. Definitely if you pray the Rosary for that intention and do these things I have said, you will save your own soul in the end.
I know I have written all of these things before, but as people more and more given themselves over to the Devil in the world today, or the Devil forces himself on to people through abuses, the world becomes more and more divided, less and less individualistic, people within themselves become more and more divided, more and more categorized by labels, more and more strive to embrace stereotypes and copying others rather than individualism, more and more filled with hate and anger and impurity and blasphemy, and human thought is taught more and more as if it were religion! I repeat myself because this is important! The most vital!
We are a sin support group society, we are what I call a botulism society. Botulism is a bacteria that is a poison. How it is usually used is that the poisoner eats a little bit of this every day until his or her immune system is built up against it, and then mixes the poison with the food and those with no tolerance of it die instantly but the poisoner goes un-detected in his/her murder because s/he also ate the food but didn't die. So no one sees or detects the poison.
Our pop culture, which is not controlled by "the people" but by people who want to control us, megalomaniacs, people who set themselves up as god and who worship mammon over God, who do not keep the fear of God before their eyes, control our news, our public education, our whole societal thinking today. It is botulism, it is poison. If a regular person from any other time, even 30 years ago, was put into this world, this society right now, with no building up of tolerance of this poison, they would instantly die from the horror of the degradation of the human spirit, made in the image and likeness of God. There is no Light of God anywhere, even if something makes the claim of being "good."
Many many people die of "despair deaths": suicide by alcohol, STDs, etc. These are sins, but they are caused by the despair of the society. That is why, give up the current society and give up sin, that you may have life. God is Life. God is True Life.
As Moses was born to lead his people out of slavery in Egypt, Jesus was born to lead us from slavery to sin and back to Heaven through the way of the Cross. There is only one means to Heaven, and that is the Cross. He gave us His holy mother to be our Moses and lead us through the way of the Cross, which she herself has already taken.
We have a friend in God! We must pray. We must.
Also, love Mary under her title Our Lady of Good Success very very much (see below post). She, and that book there, are the foundation for the 20th and 21st centuries, their restoration in God and in the Truth and in God's Love. It is through that title, that book referenced below, that Jesus will heal us during the 21st century.
(PS there is a great deal of false information online about angels and demons, as it was forewarned that the Devil would take on a the appearance of a spirit of Light to lead people astray. You can read real information in "All About the Angels" by Fr Paul O'Sullivan, an inexpensive book found on amazon which is really a wonderful way to learn about God's true teaching about the angels. It was written a while ago, it is not a recent book and I think it has proved to be insightful through time, which is something I look for in books and information.)
(Mother Mariana, the main figure of the Our Lady of Good Success devotion, was shown visions of the 20th and current times and she died. In fact, she died of sorrow several times in her life and then God gave her her life back to suffer and pray more for our current times. The book I refer to which I honestly think everyone should read and pray the novena in, is called "The Story of Our Lady of Good Success and Novena: An Abridgement of the Book Written by Rev. Father Manuel Sousa Pereira". Also available inexpensively on amazon, very excellent book which is way better to read than reading stuff online. If you had to spend your time, I would spend it reading that book rather than online stuff. It is very good and an important read.)