Wednesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time, July 15
In Our Individual Walks of Faith, in All That We Believe and All That We Profess, May We Truly Reflect Upon Thinking of Ourselves Less and Thinking More of What God is Asking and Expecting from Each One of Us.
“…you have revealed them to the childlike.” – a topic which is very dear to the Heart of God – the childlike virtue of humility, without which there can be no true abiding in God’s Eternal Presence.
It was several years ago when two items which I considered very dear to my heart were missing. They had a deeply sentimental value to me; and, for a while, I felt a great sadness due to their loss. And yet, when I compared my losses to those families who have lost everything due to fires or floods, or any other natural disaster, my loss was as nothing compared to theirs! And I realized that what I was experiencing were feelings of vanity.
Yet, I am sure that each of us, from time to time, look up to Heaven and ask the question “why” when things seem to go not quite the way we thought they should. And I am sure that most of us have probably heard the age-old adage that “there are no coincidences”, and that “everything is in accordance with God’s plan”.
And if this is so, and I personally believe it is, it is only natural to ponder in our hearts those life-altering events which affect us in a very profound way, for we are not always called to understand the depths of His wisdom here on this side of Heaven, and how the circumstances of our lives fit into His providential plan.
Our Lord, in today’s Gospel, speaks of the mysteries of God. “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.”
Saint Augustine, one of the early Fathers of our Church, in a reflection on our Lord’s words in today’s Gospel, stated that God’s Wisdom is hidden from the “wise and the learned” for they are filled with a self-seeking pride, an arrogance which blinds them and which prevents them from opening their hearts to an understanding of God’s providential Love.
Whereas, those who are “childlike” are the truly humble, the innocent, the pure and holy of heart. They have no need to question; they just accept whatever God may send their way – as a total act of trust, as a total surrender of themselves so that God’s Divine will may more perfectly be fulfilled in them.
Is this “childlike” trust easy for us to always live in our hearts? I am sure that we can each attest to the fact that it is not! – not because our faith is weak, but due to the fact that we are human, with all the inherent weaknesses that go along with our human nature.
And yet, no matter how difficult things may seem to be at times, the words of today’s psalmist in our Responsorial Psalm resonates the surrendering trust which we should all live within our hearts, “The Lord will not abandon his people.”
At different times in the Gospels, we read about how our Blessed Mother pondered in her heart the things which had happened to her in her life, and also the fact that she pondered in her heart words spoken to her by our Lord.
The Scriptures never tell us that Mary ever questioned God’s Wisdom. Rather, in the purity and the deep, abiding faith which she carried within her Immaculate Heart, she merely surrendered herself to accepting God’s will in all things, even including the death of her own Divine Son.
And with the very words of her own Fiat, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” – we find within our Blessed Mother the ideal example for each of us to follow.
It is within her childlike response, a response which was completely void of any sense of ego or pride, a response which was completely filled with humility and a trusting faith in the Infinite Goodness of God’s providential Love, wherein she surrendered herself to whatever God was asking of her.
And the virtues which she embraced in her heart and openly lived are completely opposite from the arrogance and egotism we find in the Assyrians who boasted of their own feelings of superiority and haughtiness in defiance of God’s will, which we find in our First Reading today.
Surrendering ourselves to the will of God, removing from ourselves feelings of ego and self-importance – are all features which we find within our Blessed Mother and the saints, whose very lives point to how we should be living our individual pilgrimages through life.
And it is their examples which guide us in reflecting upon our own relationship with God – a relationship which should speak of our child-like dependence upon His Fatherly Love and providential care.
It is only when we surrender ourselves totally to God’s will that we are then able to more easily open our hearts, allowing us to be more accepting of whatever He may wish to send our way, no matter what He may ask of us – even if His request is that we bear upon ourselves a cross out of love for Him.
When the path to holiness sometimes seems difficult to travel, when the valley of tears, through which each one of us must walk from time to time, becomes too much to bear, let us always look to Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our Mother, and the many valleys of tears through which she traveled and the many crosses she herself bore.
Let us look to the saints, for many of them endured tremendous crosses, but they are saints because, in their humility, they bore their crosses with love and a trusting faith and obedience to God’s will.
But, most importantly, let us look to the example which our Lord gave us, who endured ridicule and rejection, unimaginable pain and suffering due to the horrific tortures to which He was subjected and endured – all culminating with His agonizing Crucifixion and Death – through which He taught us the great value which God places on the virtue of humility and acceptance of God’s will in our daily lives.
C. S. Lewis, a twentieth century novelist, poet and theologian, was once quoted as saying, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” In our individual walks of faith, in all that we believe and all that we profess, may we truly reflect upon thinking of ourselves less and thinking more of what God is asking and expecting from each one of us.
For, in this, we shall find ourselves on the narrow path which leads to personal sanctity and eternal salvation. †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “For the LORD will not forsake his people, nor abandon his inheritance. Judgment shall again be just, and all the upright of heart will follow it.” (Psalm 94:14-15)
- “When pride comes, disgrace comes; but with the humble is wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)
- “Therefore the Lord, the LORD of hosts, will send leanness among his fat ones.” (Isaiah 10:16a)
- “Pride goes before disaster and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is better to be humble with the meek than to share plunder with the proud.” (Proverbs 16:18-19)
- “At that time Jesus said in reply, ‘I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.’” (Matthew 11:25-26)
- “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3bc)
- “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
- “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12)
- “…all of you, clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for: ‘God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble.’ So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:5b-7)
- “[Christ Jesus], though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8)
- “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves.” (Matthew 11:29)
Prayer for the Day
“Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that You may fortify me
with the grace of Your Holy Spirit,
and give Your peace to my soul,
that I may be free from all needless anxiety and worry.
“Help me to desire always that
which is pleasing and acceptable to You,
so that Your will may be my will.
“Grant that I may be free from unholy desires,
and that, for Your Love, I may remain
obscure and unknown in this world,
to be known only to You.
“Do not permit me to attribute to myself
the good that You perform in me and through me,
but rather, referring all honor to You,
may I admit only to my infirmities.
“So that, renouncing sincerely all vainglorySaint Frances Cabrini
which comes from the world,
I may aspire to that true and lasting glory
that comes only from You. Amen.”