…when there is nothing else in life we can control.…realizing that is the difficult bit….Kelli
The fourth step of humility is that in this obedience under difficult, unfavorable, or even unjust conditions our hearts quietly embrace suffering and indoor it without weakening or seeking escape. For Scripture has it: anyone who perseveres to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22), and again “Be brave of heart and rely on God” (Ps. 27:14) The Rule of Benedict, chapter 7.
“The fourth step on the spiritual ladder, Benedict says, is the ability to persevere, even in the face of downright contradiction because it is more right to be open to the word of God through others and have our enterprises fail sometimes then to be our own guide and have things turn out right
It is more right to be able to deal with the difficult things of life and grow from them than it is to have things work out well all the time and learn nothing from them.
This is the degree of humility that calls for emotional stability, for holding on when things don’t go our way, for withstanding the storms of life rather than having to flail and flail against the wind and, as a result, lose the opportunity to control ourselves when there is nothing else in life we can control.
God does not come on hoof beats of mercury through streets of gold. God is in the dregs of our lives. That’s why it takes humility to find God where God is not expected to be.” Joan Chittister, The Rule of Benedict, pp86ff
Humanistic love will not serve. As long as we believe that we hate no one, that we are merciful, that we are kind by our very nature, we deceive ourselves; our hatred us merely smoldering under the gray ashes of complacent optimism. We are apparently at peace with everyone because we think we are worthy. We have lost the capacity to face the question of unworthiness at all. But when we are delivered by the mercy of God, the question no longer has meaning, Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation
When we proclaim God and not ourselves, we practice humility. Humility is not about thinking of ourselves as less that others but about knowing our true place in creation. Our place in creation is as beloved children of God. When we know that, we can point beyond ourselves with humble, thankful hearts.
God, give me knowledge of your truth but give me also humility, so that I always point to you and never to myself. Amen
Sarah S. Howell from Disciplines 2015, Upper Room, pg. 55
Now the whole offer which Christianity makes is this; that we can, if we let God have his way, come to share in the life of Christ. If we do, we shall then be sharing a life which was begotten, not made, which always has existed and always will exist. Christ is the Son of God. If we share in this kind of life we also shall be sons of God. We shall love the Father as He does and the Holy Ghost will arise in us. He came to the world and became a man in order to spread to other men the kind of life He has – by what I call ‘good infection’. Every Christian is to become a little Christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else – CS Lewis, Mere Christianity
Kelli: In our time, have we been immunized by just enough of the ‘good infection’ of Christianity to make us deadened to all the rest of it? All that Lewis is writing about here is Holy Love – God for us, God with us, God in us. That change, into becoming Holy Love ourselves, by God’s power and our commitment, is the only way the world becomes a better place. In these upcoming days of Lent, may we realize once again that our lives have purpose and meaning. Throw out the old stereotypes, the old wine-skins and get ready for what Holy Love is already doing among us.
Every day the world is being created anew and we can be part of it. Life doesn’t get much better than that.