The sovereign virtue of man is humility. It is that which cures, perfects and keeps him. Without humility we can acquire no other virtue nor attain to perfection.
~ from Flowers from the Garden of St. Francis of Assisi
***image from https://revandy.org/2011/05/05/humility/
If you have daughters of a certain age you will no doubt have repeatedly heard the dulcet refrain from Disney’s ‘Frozen’. In our house it has been less dulcet and more, shall we say, decibels, when my two giggling beauties belt out, “Let it go! Let it goooooo!”
That was the refrain that came to mind as I read Richard Rohr’s words this morning. My brain assigns a song to pretty much everything I do. Musical insanity. My husband says it never happens to him. Perhaps he’s the sane spouse. Anyway…
[The] spiritual life has more to do with subtraction than with addition. But in the capitalistic West we keep trying to climb higher up the ladder of spiritual success… We’ve turned the Gospel into a matter of addition instead of subtraction. When we are so full of ourselves, we have no room… for God…
~ Richard Rohr (highlighting my own, for emphasis)
Going up? Or down? Image from idpinthat.com
Like a good little baptist I immediately wanted to locate a relevant biblical comparison, and this is the first one that came to mind:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
It also brings to mind the Beatitudes, in which Jesus says we are blessed when we are low. Maybe that’s not just a way to bring comfort to those who are suffering, which seems to be the usual (perhaps rather shallow) interpretation, maybe He was telling us that the whole point is to go lower, to be less, to welcome dishonour and unglory, because only when there’s less of me can there be room – any room – for our beautiful Saviour.
Emmanuel: God with us.
And this is the confidence that we have toward [God], that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have [received] the requests that we have asked of him.
1 John 5:14,15 (ESV)
Prayer is the deliberate act of the soul. It is true, full of grace and lasting, for it is united with and fixed into the will of our Lord by the inner working of the Holy Spirit.
~ from Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich
God delights in our prayer. Do not be discouraged. He hears you and knows your heart and your deepest desire. Shine, then, as His light in the darkness of the world. Be your brother’s hands and feet, be your sister’s pillow. God knows and will give you the desires of your heart because your will is aligned with His.
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.