Humility, grace, love

WE NEED to be humble to attract and receive God’s grace that would enable us to do what we cannot do on our own — to be able to love everyone, including our enemies. Christ has told us, nay, commanded us to love our enemies, and that is just impossible for us to do unless we have God’s grace.

But the grace of God, which is always made available, cannot enter into our heart and would have no effect in us unless we humble ourselves, denying ourselves of our own likes and preferences and willing to carry the cross of Christ, which is the cross that signifies everything that we do not want and also all the sins of man.

It is humility that is the gateway for God’s grace and Christ himself to enter into our lives and empowering us to do what God himself, who is all love, does. Humility involves a certain giving up, a certain dying that actually gives rise to a better life, just like a seed has to die before it bears fruits.

Remember what Christ said about this point. “Truly, truly, I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a seed. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (Jn 12, 24) And he continued: “Whoever loves his life will lose it, but whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life…” (12, 24)

How important it really is to learn how to be humble, unafraid of the many inconveniences it would surely involve! To humble oneself is actually never an act of cowardice nor the misfortune of a defeat. On the contrary, it requires a lot of courage to leave behind the nest of our comfort in order to fly to far distances, pursuing nothing less than heaven. And success and victory is assured, since Christ promised it. We should just have faith in Christ.

Humility is emptying ourselves to fill ourselves with nothing less than God himself, of whom we are supposed to be his image and likeness. Humility enables us to receive grace, and with grace we are enabled, in spite of our weaknesses and differences and conflicts among ourselves, to love everyone.

When we humble ourselves, we would reflect God’s own self-emptying as described by St. Paul: “He, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross.” (Phil 2, 6-8)

We have to start training ourselves to have this attitude and outlook in life. This is the sure way to be like Christ and to be able to love the way Christ loved all of us, both sinners and saints.

We need to examine ourselves to see if indeed we are ready and eager to follow this example of Christ. We need to drive away any trace of pride, vanity and conceit from our thoughts and desires.

We should regard ourselves merely as instruments, tools, or as a rug for others to step on softly in life. This is not self-degradation, but an assertion of our true dignity as image and likeness of God, children of his. This is what it means to be ‘another Christ,’ who is our way, truth and life.

Everyday, we need to make some kind of plan and strategy to turn this ideal into a concrete reality. Indeed, if we have a mind to follow Christ, we actually have more than enough possibilities everyday to do so. We do not need special occasions for this possibility to take place.

Humbling ourselves truly enables us to receive God’s grace and to love all!/PN


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