Love & Humility

“If an experience fails to engender humility, charity, mortification, holy simplicity, and silence, etc., of what value is it?…In this faith God supernaturally and secretly teaches the soul and, in a way unknown to it, raises it up in virtues and gifts…When together with the words and concepts the soul is loving God and simultaneously experiencing this love with humility and reverence, there is indication that the Holy Spirit is at work within it.” -St. John of the Cross

As I was driving today, these were my thoughts…

I have experienced deep pain, I have felt the sting of betrayal, the dagger of rejection; I have felt the offense of close friends, I have been torn by the gossip of others. I have seen the hypocrisy of leadership and not pointed my finger; I have stood in the face of being falsely accused.

I have been wrong. I am often wrong. I have hurt people close to me. I have spoken pointed words knowing exactly where they will hurt the most.

And in all of this, in every situation, in all human and spiritual relationships, I have seen that only two things are worth experiencing them all: love and humility. If I can come out of these situations, whether I am the injurer or the offender, with love and humility, it’s worth it.

I’m not trying to rewrite a letter from Paul, though skimming them last night is probably why this is on my mind. It’s sounds so simple: respond well, taking the low road and love through the hard things. Yet so many of us choose the easy way of offense, selfishness, and pride, so we stay in our immature state.

I know many people who are twice my age and still take the easy path. I want to set my face towards the low, unattractive door. I want to come out of every situation with a little more love and a little more humility.

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2 thoughts on “Love & Humility

  1. I have found that I often have misunderstood the nature of, denying myself and taking up my cross, which affects my attitudes of love and humility. It seems they are intertwined. This excerpt has helped me a lot.

    “Self-denial has it’s place in a Christian’s life, but God doesn’t ask you to choose what is most painful to you. If you followed this path you would soon ruin your health, reputation, business, and friendship.
    Self-denial consists of bearing patiently all those things that God allows to pass into your life. If you don’t refuse anything that comes in God’s order, you are tasting of the cross of Jesus Christ.
    God gives you grace to bear the cross in your life just like He provides for your daily bread. He will never fail you! It is a good exercise for over enthusiastic people to give up their own ways of practicing self-denial, and to allow God to bring whatever He will into their lives.
    If you are not willing to accept the self-denials appointed by God, then don’t trust the self-denials that you come up with. Examine what you are doing. Trust God to bring you what you need.”

    The Nature of Self-Denial
    from the book “The Seeking Heart”
    Fenelon

    I find that if I am not genuinely denying myself then my love is tainted and my humility is false. I hope you liked M. Fenelon’s wisdom on the subject.

    Nathan

  2. Hi Nathan,

    I had read your comment a while back but had no clue who Fenelon was. Since then, someone gave this book to my husband and I. He has such a mature perspective and I am so grateful for the wisdom in this book.

    I would highly recommend it to anyone seeking to live like Jesus.

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