Our readings this Sunday deal with pride and humility.
Humility is almost a bad word in our culture. It is misunderstood, many take humility to mean that we have to be mousy, or timid, or shy. But this is not humility at all.
The truly humble see reality as it is, without the illusions or distortions of the ego. They recognize their limits and act in good conscience.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines humility as: "The virtue by which a Christian acknowledges that God is the author of all good. Humility avoids inordinate ambition or pride, and provides the foundation for turning to God in prayer. Voluntary humility can be described as “poverty of spirit.” (CCC 2559 and 2546)
The proud, on the other hand, are blinded by vanity and arrogance and believe they can do no wrong. They consider themselves superior to others. Their situation gets worse if they isolate themselves from others, thinking the world is against them.
Whenever a person struggles with pride, he or she can overcome it by practicing humility. In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote “True humility isn't thinking less of yourself; but it is thinking of yourself less."
“Everyone has been given a unique set of gifts and talents and God certainly wants us to put them to good use. For many of us, when we're using our gifts the way God intended, we feel a sense of exhilaration. We feel alive because we're fulfilling a purpose, because we have found our place in the world. But it's the moments that follow this exhilaration that matter most to God.
If we take those feelings of exhilaration and accomplishment and turn them inward, giving credit solely to ourselves, then we commit the sin of pride. However, if we look at what we accomplish and turn our gazes heavenward, thanking and praising Him, then God is very pleased with us” (Paul Oakes, Catholic Stand).
As Jesus says in the Gospel:“ when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, 'My friend, move up to a higher position. Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
“When one's life is centered on Christ, all the energies, aspirations, and powers of the soul fall into a beautiful and satisfying pattern. And by implication, whenever something other than Christ-money, the flesh, success, adulation-fills the center, the soul falls into disharmony.
When the divine is consciously acknowledged as the ground and organizing center of one's existence, something like wholeness or holiness is the result.
Don't live your life on the rim of the circle, but rather at the center. Focus on that reliable, unchanging point where Christ resides” (Bishop Robert Barron).
God bless you all, Father Letona