Sunday, February 10, 2013

Path to Humility - in God's Arms

People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them, and when the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. Jesus, however, called the children to himself and said, "Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you,whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it." Luke 18: 15-17

Ladies, imagine, if you can, a newborn child in the arms of his or her mother. Imagine that this child has been fed, is clean, warm, and content. Imagine what it must be like for this child who only feels love and security. There is no loneliness because there is no separation. There is no self-consciousness because there is no sense of shame. There is no selfishness because there is no sense of self. The child lives in a state of bliss, only aware of needs being met and the feeling of love and acceptance. This is a child in the arms of his or her mother.

Now imagine how much more God loves this child, how much more God can provide.

Now imagine that you are the child in God's arms.

So we are invited to be if we are to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Think this doesn't apply to you? Then listen to this:

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you. O you of little faith? So do not worry and say 'What are we to eat' or ' What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?' All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek you first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil. Matthew 6: 25-34

It is pretty clear that God loves us and wants to take care of us. We are the ones worrying. We are the ones who are putting up barriers between us and God. We of so little faith!

This is the starting point of humility.

Why do we care what others say about us? We are in God's arms.
Why do look down on others? We are in God's arms.
Why do we belittle ourselves? We are in God's arms.
What do we have to prove? We are in God's arms.

This is the truth of our existence. And this is what we must remember if we are to enter the kingdom of God.

How do we maintain this peace of mind? Through prayer and practice (and practicing prayer). The idea is not to destroy our passions but place our passions at God's disposal.

We need not fear who we are. God created us. We are in God's arms.

Now that you have a starting place to humility, read and pray the Litany of Humility. It will be challenging. But notice, too, how less frightening it is when we know God's love for us.

Litany of Humility

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, 
Deliver me, Jesus.

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...
From the fear of being humiliated...
From the fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebukes...
From the fear of being calumniated...
From the fear of being forgotten...
From the fear of being ridiculed...
From the fear of being wronged...
From the fear of being suspected...

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

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 may become as holy as I should...

-Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930)

How much more liberating life is when God is in control. How much easier life is when you can just be yourself and not have to perform to the expectations of others. You are already loved and accepted. You are already strong in Jesus. Your debts have already been payed. Now listen to God. Do His will. You are loved. You are complete. You are in God's arms. Now be His hands.

May God Bless You!


2 comments:

Ruby said...

Ouch, that litany. I guess that means I need it.

Thanks.

Erin Pascal said...

Thank you for this wonderful reminder that I am loved and cared for by a great and powerful God. Pondering upon God's unfathomable love is indeed a humbling experience.