Saturday, May 16, 2009
Amen, I say to you, unless you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven. Whosoever, therefore, shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of Heaven."
The month of May has been designate “Humility Month”. We will learn the nature of people who live for God. That nature is humbleness. Humbleness has power. When you first think of humility, Power is the last word that would be used to describe humility. When you think of humility, you may think of meekness. When you think of meekness, you may think of weakness. Weakness is the very opposite of power. Therefore, with this mind set, it would not be plausible to think that you could get power from humility. However God says that you can get power from humility.
Canice Bourke has written a book entitled “The Power of Humility: Why Humility Must Be the Heart of Your Spiritual Life -- and How to Make It So.. Bourke begins The Power of Humility with Matthew's account of the apostles arguing over who was the greater. Overhearing this, Jesus set a child in their midst and stated, "Amen, I say to you, unless you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven. Whosoever, therefore, shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of Heaven." (Matthew 18:3-4)
Jesus' words, "Amen, I say to you," mean "pay attention. This is very important." The virtue of humility is so critical, Jesus said, that a person cannot enter Heaven without it. Saint Augustine wrote, "If you should ask me what are the ways of God, I would tell you that the first is humility, the second is humility, and the third is still humility. Not that there are no other precepts to give, but if humility does not precede all that we do, our efforts are fruitless."
With that in mind, anyone who seeks to follow the Lord is seeking humility. Bourke points out "that resemblance to our Lord is imperative if we wish to be saved." And how did Jesus say we are to be conformed to Him? "Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart." (Matthew 11:29) Bourke directs us to the Infant Christ. "If humility is a lowering of self, then as you kneel at the crib before the little newborn Infant, the eternal Father's Almighty Word who leapt down from His royal throne, you can in some poor manner realize how He has lowered Himself and what a long journey He has made to appear in such a condition."
Impressing upon the reader the necessity for humility in the spiritual life, Bourke then goes on to give some ways in which one can foster that virtue. The first is through prayer for humility. Humility also grows when one contemplates God's greatness and meditates on Christ's Passion. Fostering the virtue of humility by:
1. Praying of Humility
2. Contemplate God’s Greatness
3. Meditate Jesus’ Death
Everyone who is serious about growth in the spiritual life ought to humble themselves under the mighty hand of God. Prayer for Humility by Merry del Val He was accustomed to recite this prayer daily.
O Jesus meek and humble of heart, Deliver me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
From the desire of being loved,
From the desire of being extolled,
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated,
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,
Deliver me, Jesus.
That others may be loved more than I,
That others may be esteemed more than I,
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase, and I may decrease,
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
That others may become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it. Amen.