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Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Blessing with the gift of humility

Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine.

My previous post is as good an example of any of my lack of the virtue of humility. Thank you all for suffering my self-indulgent whining, and so I am leaving that post up as an example of the person I really am. I do not ever want to lead anyone to believe I am "holier than thou" because, as you can all see, I simply am not.

A commenter by the name of Angela, gently pointed out the reality that the Blessed Mother had to bear. She didn't exactly have a comfortable Christmas. Jesus was coming, she was stuck riding a donkey, and Joseph couldn't find them a place to stay. Door after door shut in their faces, and finally, Jesus was born in a cave, into poverty. Joseph and Mary were shunned to some degree, at least, her virtue called into question as a result of her pregnancy, and what she likely hoped would be a safe, "comfortable" delivery was really anything but that!

Can you imagine the anticipation Mary must have had as her due date approached, her trepidation, and yet her complete joy? Can you imagine what Mary must have been going through - maybe some of you have experienced something simliar with your own pregnancies as you neared that wonderful day. (I have no children, this is mysterious to me so I can only allude to what others have described about this time in their and their yet-unborn child's life). How Mary must have prayed to God above that, first of all, she would not give birth on the road, and secondly, that they would have a place to stay, and other women to help her as they had helped Elizabeth. How much trust she had in God to protect them and His unborn Son, already called "Emmanuel".

Mary probably hadn't even considered that there might not be a place for them, but to suddenly come face to face with that harsh reality, while she was in labor (for there must have been laobr to some degree to tell her it was time) must have been almost more than she could bear.

And yet, how she must have, in her discomfort and in her fear, trusted in God to provide, and indeed, God did provide for them. He gave them a cave, a shelter from the wind. He gave them what was needed...not what was likely desired.

Because God's plans are so much greater than our own, even Mary's at the time, for God had not revealed his whole plan of salvation to her...only that part that she needed to know, that being that she would be the mother of the messiah, who would save the world from their sins.

Just as he saved me from my sins, from my petulance, from my self-indulgent whining when Mass didn't go the way I wanted it to go.

I was too dense to realize last night that Jesus gave me a great grace; an opportunity, that granted, I tried to take advantage of, that of patience, offering my suffering, etc. But I had the opportunity to see a parallel with the Holy Family, and I missed the boat (or donkey) completely. Then again...perhaps I AM the ass. Big surprise.

I had the opportunity to be humble and simply submit to God's will, and rather than complain, consider, "What is God trying to tell me through this?"

Because, last night, I could not have attended another Mass. I had to be there, and clearly it was in God's plan for me. He set it up. And rather than take time to actually LISTEN to what the Lord was telling me through that situation, I, like the ass that I am so often, just sat there and grumbled under the guise of "offering it up".

Sometimes the best way to "offer it up" is not through verbal or intellectual prayer, but through silent submission.

I failed miserably.

Last night, God gave me the blessed opportunity to be like Mary, my role model (OUR role model, as women), and I misssed it.

How the Lord loves us, to grant us these graces, time and time again, until we get it right, because in our most extreme impatience, He is infinitely patient, so much so that he sends other people to make clear in our own language what He would rather tell us intimately in prayer if we would only be open to His will in all situations.

If it's not to late, Jesus, I would like to offer this up now, including my previous post, and the lesson you just taught me through the words of an earthly Angel.

1 comment:

smk said...

It's never too late to offer up things to God. There is NO TIME with Him! He LOVES your humble recongition of "I really should have..."

And at the same time, GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK! We all have our limits, and Christmas Mass SHOULD be a beautiful liturgy. You were NOT so far off, albeit, human, in your response!