“He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud (ὑπερηφάνους) by the imagination/thought (διανοίᾳ) of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the humble; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.” (Lk 1: 51-53, Song of the Theotokos)
Here the Mother of God mentions “the proud,” which means me, when I am not embracing humility. Because pride is not so much “a thing” as it is the absence of “a thing,” and that is the grace of humility. Pride means stepping out of contact with God to manage things on my own. In effect it means stepping out into the cold, nay, into a blizzard, of my own thoughts and “imagination,” which, without God’s humbling grace, in the long run renders me “scattered” and ineffective. So it is “by” or “through” their very own thoughts and imagination (διανοίᾳ) that, as the Mother of God notes here, He scatters the proud.
But let me not be alone with my various thoughts today, because I don’t need to be. There is One greater and more powerful than me, willing to lift me up, and fill my heart “with good things,” when it’s not cluttered and preoccupied with my own “imagination.” Treasury of Blessings, and Giver of Life, come and abide in us. Amen!