You would think that when you reach the ripe old age of 76, you would have figured a few things out…. hey I’ve been around for awhile, I know a couple of things… I finally KNOW MYSELF, and I KNOW GOD. Yet to be honest, I keep getting surprised.
At times when things seem to be going pretty well, I can find myself mumbling “thanks Lord, I’ll take it from here… I’ve got this.” A little success can go to my head and I can think that I orchestrated the success… that it was my bright idea, my effort, my gifts, yikes even my holiness that made it happen. Hey, I would never say any of this “out loud” or someone might think I’m proud. Hmmmmm.
On the other hand when I’ve made another mess, I can tend to head to the nearest cliff to do a swan dive into the “Pit of Despair”….I’m no good, I’ll never be any good…who could ever love me…. When I forget who God is and who I am…..when everything relies on me and my capabilities, I bounce between pride and despair….. “between Dave, you’re a genius and Dave, you’re an idiot”.
We’ve heard the phrase “you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”. Sometimes I imagine Jesus having a morning cup of coffee with his Father and talking about the latest developments in the lives of his children on earth. What do they think as they watch us running around in circles? At times they must just start laughing… laughing until they can’t catch their breath … tears streaming down their face…. falling on the floor. “Did you see what ole Chuck said… did you see him modestly taking a bow after we once again rescued him from his latest “plans”…. I don’t think I can take it anymore; if we didn’t love him so much…if he wasn’t so precious to us….. oh my gosh.”
Fr. Walter Ciszek was a spiritual giant.… 23 years in a Siberian Prison Camp. He really knew God and he knew himself. But even he had to grow in his understanding of who God was and who he was. Listen to a few lines from his book, He Leadeth Me. “My life was to do always the will of the Father. It was humility I needed—the grace to realize my position before God, not just in times when things were going well, but more so in times of doubt and disappointment. That’s what humility means—learning to accept disappointments and even defeat as God-sent, learning to persevere and carry on with peace of heart and confidence in God, secure in the knowledge that something worthwhile is being accomplished precisely because God’s will is at work in our life and we are doing our best to accept and follow it. Be thankful then, I thought to myself, that God in his loving care sends humiliations your way …. Be consoled, you idiot, but don’t be fooled! It was the same God who arranged for that joy in order to strengthen and console you and who has now arranged your abrupt and humiliating departure from the scene to remind you once more that all things on this earth are governed by his providence and not man’s efforts. Every time you tried to do something on your own, to plan ahead, to work out answers beforehand, you made a miserable mess of your efforts and had to learn all over again to look for God’s will in the situations and circumstances…. Isn’t it time you learned to be meek and humble of heart, to give up your own will and strive to conform to God’s, to seek first the kingdom of God and his justice.
(Servant of God Walter J. Ciszek, S.J. was an American Jesuit priest convicted of being a “Vatican spy” in World War II. He spent 23 years in Soviet prisons. Magnificat, Mar. 28, 2023)
If Fr. Ciszek was still learning some of these lessons after spending 23 years in a slave labor camp in Russia, you and I should not be discouraged when we find ourselves needing to continue to grow in knowledge of God and of our self. In all of this let’s be assured that the Lord loves us so much and will finish the great work he has begun in us. And if God is laughing, he’s laughing with us, not at us….. at least I sure hope so.
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5 thoughts on “It’s Humility We Need”
Often we get an idea and run with it before asking Jesus how to do it. It can be something very simple but when I ask Jesus to show me the way, everything always turns out better, often with a new insight or joy. Our Lord delight in leading us into his perfect plan🙌🏻
I love the book, He Leadeth Me! Thanks for the reminder this morning of Fr. Ciszek’s wise words!
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This book has taught me so much! I remember reading it once when I was really mad (during Covid, I think) and the works just cut to the heart.
I think I just rely on myself so much, taking the credit for God’s work.
Lord, help me to see you rightly and to ask for your constant direction and grace!
PS – Dad, I was literally laughing out loud over the God and Jesus coffee bit 😂😂😂
Thanks for the reminder, Dad!