From Our Spiritual Advisor
Ark Spiritual Directors' Article
What sacrifice or virtue do you want to work on for the Lord in the new year as a gift for the Christ Child; for Palanca for our upcoming Cursillo weekends? One suggestion is working on humility and that requires sacrifice.
Humility is the act of being Humble. It is the virtue by which we acknowledge that all good comes from God; always putting God’s will and the needs of others before ours.
Thinking back over the course of my life, the people that have made the most impact on me as a person, were, and are the humblest people I have had in my life. To name a few:
• My Mother – Putting her needs aside for our family; always serving in our parish or being of assistance to friends and relatives, not judging others;
• My first grade teacher - Sister Carmel, Precious Blood Sister;
• Mr. Siegel, my H.S. Industrial Arts teacher;
• Ernie – One of the men I served with in the U.S.A.F. with in Texas;
• Charles – My father-in-law;
• Fr. Tom Wehinger – One of our former pastors who has passed away;
• Several men and women in my parish;
• And Several Saints who intercessions I request daily.
People who seek humility, who are always trying to do God’s will, putting His plan for their lives and the needs of others first, are always the ones whose lives bear the most fruit in our lives and in the world. Consider - Jesus, Mary, Joseph, All of the Saints, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King and Saint John Paul II.
St, Luke’s Gospel for Dec. 24, just passed, narrates the Annunciation – Mary giving God her permission to send his Holy Spirit to conceive in her womb His son Jesus, our Savior. Next to Jesus’ death and resurrection it is the most important event that ever happened in the history of the world. Because of Mary’s choice, the human race has hope of heaven.
Notice all of the humility in this passage: the Angels are spectacular – but are humble and obedient to God’s will. The Angel Gabriel was not sent to Jerusalem or Rome, but to the humble little town of Nazareth in the humblest and most remote area of Israel. He was sent to humble peasants, descendants of King David. St. Joseph was so humble that not a single word of his is recorded in Scripture. Mary, like God, in all of her miraculous appearances over the next 2,000 years chooses humble places to appear: to St. Juan Diego in Mexico, to Bernadette at Lourdes, France and the peasant children at Fatima, Portugal.
If God is so consistently humble, how dare we be proud or arrogant?
There never has been and never will be a merely human being as high and holy and so totally full of divine grace as Mary. But Mary’s highness is her lowliness, her humility (She referred to herself as Handmaid of the Lord). And this was not because she was afraid of God or His angel, but because she was too humble to think of herself as special.
The saintlier you are as a person, the less self-centered you are. Mary did not think of herself as bad (that’s not humility). Humble people don’t think of themselves as good or bad, they just don’t think of themselves at all. They only think of doing God’s will. Mary is full of God’s grace, not of herself. Mary knew God much better than we do because of her humility, her total openness to God.
As we think about a New Year’s resolution, let’s think about what gift we are going to give the Christ Child now, and our Heavenly Father in the year 2024 ahead. The best gift, and the best Palanca that I can think to give Him is to seek the Humility of the Holy Family Jesus, Mary and Joseph; and total openness to God.
Deacon Denny Scherger, Cursillo 115