By grace of God, I am what I am. (1 Corinthians 15:10)
Reflection. These words of St. Paul seem to be filled with pride and presumption but they are really the fruit of humility for humility is truth.
Humility does not deny one’s value or achievements but gives all credit for them to God.
Prayer. God of goodness, what would I be without You? Be near me that I may not abuse Your gifts. Let me always show my gratitude for them by leading a Christian life.
— Today’s reading from Minute Meditations for Each Day
This “minute meditation” includes a wonderful, little definition for humility—to give credit for all our gifts to God. It also points one way, maybe the most important way, of showing our gratitude to God for all His gifts, that is, to live a Christian life.
My school has been doing Lenten devotions after school. Each week is a different theme. This week is Lecto Divina and I have had the honor of leading them. Yesterday’s reading was about the cleansing of the ten lepers. In Lecto Divina, the idea is to read a short passage of scripture and let a word or phrase catch your attention. Lecto Divina is not scripture study. It is a form of prayerful meditation where you literally try to let go and let God lead you to something. The hard part for somebody like me is not to analyze the passage, but to let if flow over me, to float on God’s Word and to “be still” and listen.
I once read that a passage of scripture you read in Lecto Divina can be liken to being in a dark room. There are many doors in this room, but God wants you to walk through a particular one at this particular moment in your life. So, how do you find your door? As you read the words from scripture, it is like following your way along the walls of this dark room, feeling for the edges of the door. When your attention becomes focused on a word or phrase, you have found your door. Now, you have to find the doorknob. Slowly, or quickly, depending on how God wants to gift you, you dwell on your word or phrase and the doorknob is discovered. It may take deeper probing and letting go, but eventually the door will open, and you step through to something meant for you to learn.
(Note: Not every session of Lecto Divina will yield results. You have to let go and trust God that on some days, He will feed you the sweet fruit of consolation. It is up to God, not you. Don’t force anything. Persevere.)
In yesterday’s passage, I got caught on the phrase, “Stand up and go”. The one leper had came back to give thanks. I want to give thanks too. I want to be with Jesus, and I suspect the leper did too. But Jesus is saying, “Go.” Go where?
The world says that I am free when I do what I want, not what God wants. This of course leads to sin, which in reality restricts my freedom and binds me to my disordered desires and attachments. When I turn back to God, my sins are forgiven and I am now free. My desires become a little more ordered and my attachments are loosened. True freedom lies in God, not myself. So, at this point time, I hear the word “go” and know that I am free.
But there is also a deeper implication in this simple directive of “go.” How many times in the Gospels did Jesus forgive someone and then tell them to go, as in “go and sin no more”? He is telling me I am free in Him. He is also saying “do not be afraid,” go confidently into the world because He will always be with me. If I am in Him, He is in me.
Love and do as you will. — St. Augustine