Wednesday, March 12, 2014

How Easily We Forget

I was reading meditations on the Glorious Mysteries as I began my rosary last night:
The Resurrection:
The sorrows and humility of this life are over.  Now glory!
You knew You could do this.  The guards knew it too.
When suddenly, just like so often happens when reading the Bible, I saw meaning in those words that I had not seen before.  (You can see the full Glorious Mysteries here
I always thought of Jesus as having perfect humility, as the first line of the meditation says, but the second line notes that Jesus KNEW the Resurrection would happen, and in their hearts the guards knew (and feared) it too!  He knew He was God and would rise from the dead --- as He foretold to others, but most certainly NOT in a manner as I would have done. 
I recalled the thoughts that I have had in recent days about all the things I had planned and had done in my life, and also those things I wanted to do but sometimes others prevented me, because others did not believe I could do them or did not believe I knew the truth of matters.  And I recalled my anger at their reactions, and my pride raising its ugly head.
Looking at those meditation lines again, I saw something more there:  JESUS HAD NO PRIDE!!  He knew He was God.  He knew He would rise from the dead.  If ever a man had reason for pride, had reason to shout from the rooftops, “Look at ME!  Look at My Wisdom! Look at My Truth!  Look at all I have done, and look what I plan to do!”  If ever a man had reason to shout in pride, this Man did.  I know certainly would have.
And yet it was only I, as I can so readily recall, who in fact DID so often shout: “Why won’t you listen to me?”  It was only I, with my small pitiful ideas who shouted: “Listen to my wisdom!  Hear me!”   
And reading the meditations yet again, I see that Wisdom Itself had shouted nothing.
I have prayed (and strongly recommended you pray) that Litany for Humility.  It is a prayer which has helped me much, and I feel ever more sincere in praying it.  But I see now, tonight, that so often I prayed this prayer in a one-sided manner.  I prayed to act humbly:  “This is what I want, and this is what I will (humbly) do for You.”  I prayed to act virtuously, but I did not pray as Jesus would have prayed.  My prayer was about my chosen actions, actions I chose willingly.  I think Jesus would have prayed not for just those things He chose willingly, but also for those things He chose unwillingly.  “This is also what I want, but what I will NOT do, for You.”  The first prayer is to obtain virtue; the second is to forego the tempting vice.  I pray to gain humility, but in the fullness of the prayer, I should pray to lose pride.  Not my will, but Thy will be done, is true humility.  That is why that Litany prayer is so good; it prays for my acceptance of things I do not want.  Jesus accepted even death, humbly, and without pride He also accepted the Resurrection.
I have many plaques which decorate my mantle, and awards which adorn my bookcases and walls.  These are monuments to my pride, and I set them in places of honor.  How sad.  Better, I think, if I were to list all my failures and highlight those, hanging those “monuments” to my lack of humility.  Those are the reminders I really need.
I think on all Jesus did, and how little reward He received.  When they laid the palms in front of Him as He rode into Jerusalem, do you think He kept some of them and put them in a place of honor?  When the blind man dropped his cane because he now could see, do you think Jesus kept it?  That first cup of water changed into wine, do you think it held a special place on Jesus’ mantle?  I think not.
Jesus lacked pride.  Not only did He have humility, but He lacked pride.  When I pray to gain one, I need to pray to lose the other.
The good things which I have accomplished in my life were accomplished with the grace of God, with His help and for His purposes, not mine.  If I seek to honor the good things I did, I must remember He was with me then.  And those bad things I did, my failures which I so easily forget, those are the things which I ALONE accomplished.
I read a couple of more lines at the end of that Rosary meditation, which also gained a new focus for me this night:
Help me to glorify You in my life.
Help me to make You part of my life.
How easily we forget.  The good that we have accomplished, was never done alone.
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At mass this morning, the priest said just a few words:  “During Lent, you will often hear it said that you must put on a new mind.  We find that thinking about God during our day is difficult, our schedules are full.  St. Benedict said that as we begin the next task on our busy schedule we should say: ‘Lord, bless this task I am about to begin; bring it to completion.’  A simple prayer can open our mind to the Lord, and make Him part of our day.  I encourage you all to put on a new mind, this Lent.”
His words were a reminder that the good we accomplish, we never do alone.


  1. Thanks for your insights. You've given me some things to think about!

  2. Thinking isn't a bad thing. Gaining wisdom, however, is totally a gift. How often I confuse the two. Thank you also, for taking the time to think "softly out loud," so that I can read it.