My former roommate, now a student Brother of the Western Dominicans, writes:
When a man claims to be proud of his family, proud of his alma mater, proud of his country or proud of his church, he is speaking of a pride that is not self-focused but focused on another. Indeed he feels a sense of greatness, but it is not a sense of his own greatness; it is a sense of being a part of something greater than himself; it is the greatness of the other that swells his heart. This is a pride that draws a man out of himself and towards something great. Since he is focused on an ideal, a goal, or a vision that is beyond him, he is called by this pride to do greater things, more virtuous things, and more courageous things, things that he otherwise would never be inspired to do of it was not for this pride. This is precisely the pride that I feel about being in the Dominican Order. I am part of an order that is older than I, larger than I; its mission, to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, existed long before I was born and will continue long after I die. I am both proud and humbled to be a part of something so great.
This is what St. Thomas Aquinas calls the virtue of Magnanimity and it is indeed a long forgotten virtue in our time.
Visit the new blog of the Western Student Dominicans: To God, About God.