Friday, July 25, 2014

humility

Our Lord said when He gave his sermon on the mount, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."  To be poor in spirit means that we recognize our complete nothingness without God's grace and likewise our complete dependence on Him. 
(I think this is a Nubian goat.)
In the Bible, the tax collect stood at a distance and would not even lift his eyes to Heaven.  He beat his breast and prayed, "Oh God, be merciful to me a sinner."  The tax collector could admit to himself that he was a sinner and that he had faults.
 
Fr. Joe over at Catholic Answers says that false humility is when we know that we are good at something and we say we aren't good at it.  We are telling a lie.  We are trying to look humble.
Fr. Wolfgang Seitz in his talk on humility (Lay Retreat 2012 Soquel, California) says that pride is like an illusion. Pride makes us believe that we are more or better than we are.  It makes us think that we are in charge of our own lives.
(This seemingly earless goat is a Lamancha goat.)
Fr. Joe also says that many of us are not good at receiving compliments because we don't have any practice.  He says that if it is hard for us to take compliments, then we should try this, "Next time people compliment you, let's consider it a prayer.  That person is thanking God through you for the gift you manifest..."
Fr. Wolfgang Seitz, states that God is not so much interested in the many exterior things that we do, but rather God sees what is in our heart.  He is looking at our thoughts and motives.  He wants to see that our motives are honest and pure.
And then Fr. Wolfgang Seitz also says that we have no right to get angry when someone has inflicted an injustice on us.  Rather, we grow in humility and holiness when we accept what is dished out to us with resignation and joy. 

We gain merit by thanking God for the opportunity to grow in holiness.
Humility is based on true self knowledge and it enables us to see ourselves as we truly are in the eyes of God.  We do not exaggerate our good qualities and we do not deny ourselves the gifts God has given us.  We use our talents and abilities for God's greater glory.  We also appreciate the gifts that God has given others. 
Fr. Seitz tells us that the virtue of humility goes beyond justice.  When another is unjust to us, we continue to serve that person in spite of how we are treated.  He says that our acts of humility need to become a prayer otherwise we will not have the strength to persevere in humility and we will
eventually explode in anger.
The Directress of Saint Faustina told her, "Go through life like a little child, always trusting, always full of simplicity and humility, content with everything, happy in every circumstance."
(Just be a little kid...ha!)
Fr. Seitz says that humility guards all of the other virtues.  In order to expel pride, humility must precede all the other virtues.  St. Gregory the Great says, "He who gathers virtue without humility is like a man who carries dust against the wind."
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You can get a copy of the 2012 Lay Retreat in Soquel, California which includes Father Wolfgang's Seitz' talk on humility by calling Opus Sanctorum Angelorum at (313) 527-1739 or you can write them an email
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The goats you see in my post today posed for me on Wednesday when I attended  the
 California State Fair.  These goats normally reside at Lakeshore Purebread Nubian Farm, Wingwood Farm, Brighthaven Farm, Inglewood Farm and perhaps a few other farms.  I found the goats to be quite photogenic and kid-like...ha! ha!