From Br. Joseph —
This is the fifth reflection on seven signposts for the season of Lent (and for all seasons).
Gravitate to humility.
This signpost points in the exact opposite direction the world points by pointing to the First Beatitude, the Beatitude from which all the Beatitudes spring forth—blessed are the poor in spirit.
When society or the world talks about humility, if they even recognize it, they refer primarily to a sense of proper self-esteem where one does not elevate or demean ones self in relation to others. A good self-esteem is very, very important, but Christian humility calls for something else, something more.
Christian humility aims for the complete and total nothingness of pride. We have nothing to boast of to God. We have no entitlements or any thing to lay claim on God. Everything comes from God, and so we are essentially nothing without God.
This can sound a bit disappointing, even depressing. In fact, the world calls this humiliation, i.e. to loose ones pride. But the thing is, it is not about degradation or loss of self-respect or disgrace. It is about grace, and letting grace in so that it will transform us from the nothingness of our poverty to divine royalty, daughters and sons within the Triune family of God.
In other words, if you are not empty, God cannot fill you up. Do you want to be filled up with stuff of the world or with divine stuff? “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world and yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36)
In having nothing before God, we have God, and therefore have everything. God is peculiar that way—the last shall be first, the lowly shall be exalted. The way to bliss, to true joy and happiness, is not through pride but through humility. Jesus is our example; he is the Way.
It seems fitting to recall last week’s poem. Love, by its very nature, always reaches outward.
As flowing water falls to seek the lowest point,
It gives all its energy away until none remains,
And then returns to the source to fall again.
What does the water gain from this falling?
What does life gain?
Just as water gravitates to the lowest point, so does love—by way of humility.
Our Lady of Mercy is praying for us…