I go to confession, mass and then adoration every Wednesday and the Holy Spirit almost always speaks deeply to me during this time. Last Wednesday was no exception. I have been pondering the virtue of humility a lot lately and have been praying that the Holy Spirit strengthen this virtue in me as it is the foundation of all the other virtues. I do not understand humility and know that I am full of pride so am not humble, yet, as humility is the absence of pride and pride is the absence of humility. Humility and pride can not co-exist. As long as pride is present, humility is not. You can come in and out of pride and in and out of humility but they cannot be present at the same time.
Humility is not what we do it is who we are. This is one of those things where you simply can’t fake it till you make it. You either are humble or you are not. The closer I get to who I was created to be and the more unified I am to the Holy Trinity, the more humble I will be. Humility is a fruit, a by-product of living an authentic life. It flows out of it. Humility within is produced when we see clearly who we are and we see clearly who God is and we live this truth out every day and in every way. This is humility at its core and from humility flows love. Love for God, for others and for ourselves. Humility in the world is love. It is self-sacrifice, it is compassion, it is evangelization, it is respect, kindness, gentleness, patience, peace, joy, etc. Humility produces all the fruits of the Holy Spirit. This is why none of the other virtues can be faked either because they flow out of humility. They flow out of living authentically. They flow out of Christ living is me and out of the process of me becoming who I was created to be. Throughout this process it will not be uncommon to come in and out of who we were created to be either and in and out of union with God. Just as we will come in and out of humility and pride. As we move further along in the spiritual journey the more we will be living authentically and the more often we will be united to God. Until one day we find that we walk with God each moment of the day, that Jesus has taken up permanent residency in our souls and we have become exactly who God created us to be. When we live a life like this we are God’s saints in the world. We become light to a dark world, the voice crying out in the wilderness, the sheep among wolves. We speak truth wherever we go and we breathe the life of Jesus into hurting, broken and dead hearts.
Who I was created to be, however, is going to look completely different from anyone else. There are no two saints that are the same. Just as we all have unique fingerprints so too we all have unique souls and these souls in all their humility and love will shine different in the world. “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” 1 Corinthians 12
I am certain there are saints all around us. People who are being united to and transformed by Jesus. People who are living authentic lives. People who know, love and serve God in their own unique way. We need to embrace these differences and not be afraid of them. Jesus shines His light into the world in a variety of ways and we in our limited knowledge and wisdom are simply not able to judge where others are at in the spiritual journey. This is why Jesus warns us so often not to judge others. It is dangerous business as we are almost never right in our judgments. And let’s not look at other people’s gifts and lives with envy either. What is good for one person may destroy another. God knows what each of us needs so let Him do what needs to be done. Let us accept the blessings and the sufferings thankfully and with joy as we know God works all things for the good of those who love Him. God will not let us perish. He will not let us go. We are safe in His arms. He is a good Father who loves us and gives us good things. Even though the pain and suffering in our lives may not look so loving, safe, or good in the moment, they are. Just believe, have faith, and trust and this truth will set you free to be who you were created to be. Let us also have compassion and mercy for those who are in pain and are suffering. And let’s face it, this is everybody. We all have our heavy crosses that we carry. And we all need help in carrying them just as Jesus needed help carrying His. We need help from God and from others. A kind word can help us get through just one more day when life seems to be swallowing us up. There are so many loving gestures that help us through the day aren’t there? The listening ear of a friend, a walk with your mother, a hug from your husband, a cuddle with your children, a smile from a stranger, confession, the Eucharist, the Church, etc. These are the things in life that make it all bearable and worth it. These are the events in our life we wake up for in the morning. We wake up ready to receive the blessings others are to us and to become blessings for others.
What and who are the blessings in your life?
To whom and in which ways are you a blessing to others?
Reach out to someone today who you know is carrying a heavy cross. Show them God’s loving kindness. You may be the reason they are able to make it through the day.
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