How would we describe a holy person?
We might say a holy person is a pious person, who prays every day, who goes to Mass each weekend, who goes to the Sacrament of Reconciliation often…
We might say it is person who helps others, who gives of their blessings to those who lack. A holy person could be one who volunteers their time to help teach, help clean, help feed, help whatever…
These are all correct.
But what flows throughout, what unifies the piety, the service is the virtue of humility: humility is holiness. A humble person is holy.
Lets think about this…Holiness, in essence, is really our capacity to love and be loved; to love God and others, and to let ourselves be loved by God and by others.
Humility is that virtue that allows this to happen and grow. Humility is the soil in which love is seeded and grows.
We do need to truly understand humility and we need to be aware of our human condition.
The human person has this wonderful aspect called the ego.
The ego is about the “me”. It is that part of us that always wants attention, in some form or another. Egos are not so much about love…because are more about serving the self.
I think that there is a continuum, a line if you will of the of the ego
At one end we have the ego of the very very proud and arrogant. They draw all kinds of attention to themselves, and the work that they do, and the things they do….They can be loud people, always blowing their own horns, who might do good things, but then demand the attention and gratitude for it.
We can think of some personalities in the news or in politics with this.
On the other end we can also see the ego at work in the “victim”. This is the person who gains attention by always playing to people’s sympathy, people’s pity; the poor me, the world hates me; nobody loves me; etc.
Now, I want to be clear though this is not all; people will experience difficulties and their pain and suffering is very very real, and I am not talking about them. They definitely need attention and healing.
Rather, I think those that constantly whine about every little thing; they find absolutely no joy in life, something bad happens and they want attention because it happened to them….these are people who want the attention….
In the middle of this continuum is humility.
Humility is to acknowledge the qualities that we have and to give thanks to God and others for those qualities. It is to use those qualities to serve others. Humility is to acknowledge good that we have done, accept any gratitude given and then give gratitude back to others, including God.
Humility is to also acknowledge that we have areas in our lives in which we need to grow, and that we take responsibility for our actions. That the world isn’t necessarily against us, but maybe we make bad choices at times.
Look at Jesus…he accepted his position and role; and always gave thanks to the Father.
He certainly never played victim, or poor me; rather trusted in the love of the Father.
He even changed…think of his encounter with the gentile woman who wanted him to cure her daughter, initially he refused, but was chided by her, and changed. HUMILITY!
Humility in the Son of God, who did not grasp equality with God, as Scripture writes, but gave of himself.
Humility in that the Son of God comes to us in this moment…in what Simple bread and wine; given out to us in love, for love.
We consume this so that we too will use God’s grace to be humble in our own lives.
So that we can acknowledge that some of us are really smart, and then use those smarts for the good of others
So that we can acknowledge that yes some of have gifts for music and arts, for organizing, reading, and then use them for the good of the community.
So that we can acknowledge that yes, none of us knows everything….and we ALL need to learn more, and help each grow.
So that we can acknowledge that all of us will screw up at times, but all of us may be forgiven.