S e n t i r e C u m E c c l e s i a

"To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What seems to me to be white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Spouse, there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the salvation of our souls..." - Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius [365]

Friday, October 26, 2007

Be Humble

The Gospel passage for this Sunday's Liturgy, I must admit, is one of my favorite accounts in the Gospels. Jesus speaks of two men who went to the temple. The first was a self-righteous, feeling holy, presumptuous person -- the Pharisee. He gives God an 'accounting' of sorts: "I did this... I did that... I didn't do this... I didn't do that" to the point of developing a very unhealthy life position, which according to Eric Berne is the "I am OK, You're Not OK" life stance. In a manner, this guy approaches the Throne of God in the spirit of pride and self-righteousness. But the other guy is the 'low self-esteem,' contrite, humbled man -- the Publican. But the twist in Jesus' account is that the second guy went home favored by God!

Dear friends we are once again reminded that the disposition we need to have when we face the Altar of the Lord is that of humility and powerlessness. But most of the time we approach God's Table in the light of self-righteousness -- I am good because... I did this... I didn't do that... But Jesus reminds us that in the end, one thing is necessary -- to acknowledge one's nothingness in the midst of God's greatness.

Let us ask the Lord then for this grace of humility and contriteness; that we truly acknowledge our nothingness before the Great God, for all that we have and have done, are from Him. Amen.


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