Saturday, March 10, 2007

"Lord, it's hard to be humble."

I have a vague recollection about a Country Music song that said, "Lord, it's hard to be humble . . . but I'm doing the best that I can."

Some say that nothing helps our humility like a little humiliation. I think humility is power under control, but here is what Thomas Merton says of humility in his book Thoughts in Solitude:

"Humility is a virtue, not a neurosis. It sets us free to act virtuously, to serve God and to know Him. Therefore true humility can never inhibit any really virtuous action, nor can it prevent us from fulfilling ourselves by doing the will of God.

"Humility sets us free to do what is really good, by showing us our illusions and withdrawing our will from what was only an apparent good.

"A humility that freezes our being and frustrates all healthy activity is not humility at all, but a disguised form of pride. It dries up the roots of the spiritual life and makes it impossible for us to give ourselves to God."

Merton's prayer of confession about humility, in part:

"Lord, you have taught us to love humility, but we have not learned. We have learned only to love the outward surface of it -- the humility that makes a person charming and attractive. We sometimes pause to think about these qualities, and we often pretend that we possess them, and that we have gained them by 'practicing humility.' If we were really humble, we would know to what an extent we are liars!. . . This is the terrible thing about humility: that it is never fully successful. If it were only possible to be completely humble on this earth. But no, that is the trouble: You, Lord, were humble. But our humility consists in being proud and knowing all about it, and being crushed by the unbearable weight of it, and to be able to do so little about it."

Do you think that Merton was just a little neurotic about being humble?

That's all for today.

Pastor Linda
The Rev. Linda McCloud
Founding Pastor
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

1 comment:

egonomics said...

Pastor Linda,
I appreciated your thoughts on humility. I think humility is genuine confidence, intelligent self-respect. Most people think the opposite of having too much confidence is humility, when in fact the exact opposite is no confidence at all. It's such a powerful, but misunderstood, and therefore underutilized, trait.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts and the good work you do.