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The Darkness of Arrogance and the Light of Humility

 
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:21 pm    Post subject: The Darkness of Arrogance and the Light of Humility Reply with quote

The Darkness of Arrogance and the Light of Humility

Scripture:


And look not upon an unjust sacrifice, for the Lord is judge, and there is not with him respect of person. The Lord will not accept any person against a poor man, and he will hear the prayer of him that is wronged. He will not despise the prayers of the fatherless; nor the widow, when she pours out her complaint.

He that adores God with joy, shall be accepted, and his prayer shall approach even to the clouds. The prayer of him that humbles himself, shall pierce the clouds: and till it come nigh he will not be comforted: and he will not depart till the most High behold.

(Sirach 35:15-17, 20-21)

For I am even now ready to be sacrificed: and the time of my dissolution is at hand. I have fought a good fight: I have finished my course: I have kept the faith. As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice which the Lord the just judge will render to me in that day: and not only to me, but to them also that love his coming. Make haste to come to me quickly.

At my first answer, no man stood with me: but all forsook me. May it not be laid to their charge! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, that by me the preaching may be accomplished and that all the Gentiles may hear. And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. The Lord has delivered me from every evil work and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom. To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

( 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18 )

And to some who trusted in themselves as just and despised others, he spoke also this parable: Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee and the other a publican. The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give you thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner. I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather than the other: because every one that exalts himself shall be humbled: and he that humbles himself shall be exalted.
(Luke 18:9-14)

Reflection:

Can we imagine the changes which we might find within the world if we all could comprehend what God asks of us and live as His Holy Word teaches us? Can we imagine what we might accomplish if we all could approach one another with the humility, civility, dignity, and respect to which He calls us? Can we imagine what would be possible if we were able to turn away from our selfishness and share with one another the blessings of selfless love? Of course, this is the more challenging way, for it requires the discipline of love and selflessness which so often seems to elude us; but it is the more excellent ways, for it brings blessings to all. (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:1-31)

Some are tempted to believe that living as God calls us is beyond us, but, if we turn to our Creator and open our hearts to Him so that as we lift up our love to Him and invite Him in, we may allow Him to form us in more excellent ways and lead us in how we may also share the ways to which He calls us for not only our blessing, but also for those who surround us.

As we approach contests of competition, simple games which are diversions from daily cares, we are encouraged to prevail through dominance of skill and determination. We are tempted to believe that the ways of games should also be the ways of life. Jesus, though, teaches us a different way, for He endeavors to teach us that the first shall be last, and the last shall be first, and ?If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.? (Mark 9:35) The wisdom which He shares enables us to shape a world where all might share the blessings of love so that all might receive such blessings as well.

It is the weak of heart and mind who turn to judgmentalism and intimidation as a means to their goals, for they lack the wisdom, courage, strength, and esteem which rise up from humility and a heart of love. Rather than engage, convince, and encourage through the examples of humility, compassion, charity, and love; hearts of darkness turn to manipulative means such as deception and coercion. For a short time, their desires may be theirs, but sadly, too many fail to look to the long term consequences of such behaviors, especially that which may become eternal.

Some are tempted to believe that as they follow laws according to their perceptions of what is right and just, they are justified to hold themselves in superiority and esteem by their own eyes. Through their haughtiness, they become blind to their own faults. (cf. John 9:39-41) They fail to understand the errors of their ways, the evil which they spread, or the harm which they do. Their hearts remain closed to the mending which is only possible through turning, with a contrite heart, to the mercy and forgiveness offered by God.

When we open our hearts to the Lord and allow Him to help us see what we must mend within ourselves, we shall see why we are called not to judge. (cf. Matthew 7:1-5) If we allow the Lord to educate us to His ways, then, we shall enable ourselves with the means to encourage and share blessings with those who surround us. Let us, then, turn to Him in prayer, with a contrite heart, and pray for His mercy and forgiveness; and as we receive His love, let us also turn with love to bless all who surround us.

Questions for further reflection:

In what ways do we seek acceptance and by whom?

In what ways do we encourage others to join in what is right and just?

In what ways do we examine our heart, admit our failings, and contritely ask for the mercy of God?

May the peace and blessings of the Lord be with you always,
Prayer Soldier

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