Faith and humble heart
When St. Paul reached the end of his life, he asked his close disciples to “aim at faith” (2 Tim 2:22) with the same constancy as when he was a boy (cf. 2 Tim 3:15). It is a very interesting statement. Suddenly, in the teaching of St. Paul, we find that what really matters in our life is faith based on simple and attentive adherence to Christ. Everything else regarding Christian life follows that constancy. The most basic link of our soul with Jesus is the foundation on which we build the rest of our life. Hence faith and gratitude and faith and prayer life, both are expressions and nourishment of that innocent and delicate stream of living relationship with God.
Reflecting closely on the intensity of the simple act of faith, we see that there is no place for any form of creating an impression that some of us are better than the others. The institution of a ‘pecking order’, however innocent, is the remaining rotten fruit of the sin from Paradise, where Adam and Eve were redirected from a relationship with God to a possessive attitude towards life, and when they believed they would be as high as God the Almighty.
On that basis we see that anybody who prides himself or herself on being virtuous and despises everyone else, is a victim of the temptation of the old serpent (Luke 18:9-14). For Satan it was enough to redirect the great act of zeal, prayer and gratitude to damage the soul of the dedicated Pharisee, who in the Temple did not meet the Lord and went home without God’s blessing. The tragic life of the Pharisee continued as even then he felt more privileged and closer to God than others.
Strangely enough, sometimes our spiritual wounds or our damaged moral and spiritual status can lead us to the most basic stream of faith: “The tax collector stood some distance away, not daring even to raise his eyes to heaven; but he beat his breast and said, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner.’ ” Of course, Satan will try to redirect our attention to another channel, a channel of despair or ignorance, so that it is not obvious if we would express our love to God in the act of contrition unless we really come back to the simplicity of a relationship with Jesus Christ, in which humbleness and faith are close sisters, together with prayer and gratitude.
“O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like yours.
O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, strengthen me with your Spirit.
O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, teach me your ways.” Fr Stan