Thursday, September 03, 2009
... is Humility.
"Have great confidence, for it is necessary not to hold back one's desires, but to believe in God that if we try we shall little by little, even though it may not be soon, reach the state the saints did with His help. For if they had never determined to desire and seek this state little by little in practice, they would never have mounted so high. His Majesty wants this determination, and He is a friend of courageous souls if they walk in humility and without trusting in self." - St. Teresa of Jesus
This is a distinguishing trait of St. Teresa of Jesus- this boldness and "determined determination" for holiness. She says in her Life that it irritated her to hear her Sisters' easy reply to a challenge by the statement "we are only human!" She answered them almost in exasperation with another form of challenge, "Yes, we are, but with God's grace we can be saints!" Don't we use this excuse ourselves more often than we should? Humility is truth and the truth of the matter is Jesus wants us to be perfect just as our heavenly Father is perfect. It is not an invitation to pride. It is a mandate from our Lord. Sometimes we hide behind the "I am only human" shield to settle with the status quo, to remain in our comfort zones. Perfection is not the absence of sins or imperfection for otherwise who can claim to have no sin or imperfection? But perfection is the union of one's will with the Will of God. The aim of holiness is to conform to God's Will. It will never be easy and we can't do it by sheer will-power or our own strength. But the wisdom and examples of the Saints, human beings like us, prove to us that with God's grace and true humility on our part, holiness is possible.
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