Thursday, January 21, 2010
Accepting With Humility
This is a picture of St. Clare of Assisi. Look closely at the picture... she is holding Christ in the Monstrance. I have described the limitless gifts that Christ showers on His children. I have even said that His servants, the religious, are espoused to Him. But, saints are the most humble of His people? I think, perhaps, it rarely occurs to people how humble one must be to accept Christ's gifts, particularly the gift of Himself. Because of this, most don't know the magnitude of the gift nor do they feel that they are strong enough to live as His Bride. When I received some knowledge of my vocation, I did, of course, feel extreme love and joy. But, more than this, I felt overwhelming humility! Why? An excerpt from a letter to one of my friends, who is also pursuing a vocation, explains this very well.
Below the words in quotation marks is another thing I have written. I share this only to show what is in the heart of one who is receiving the gifts I have described previously:
"My entire being would be satisfied simply to live for Him with absolutely nothing in return! I need no compensation, my love for Him is enough. To think of the gifts He is giving me (including Himself as my espoused!), though I know and understand them, is too far beyond me to consider as my own. Therefore, I can only consider them as His. He is giving us a very high calling and showering us with riches... it is as if we were paupers in the gutters and are now receiving glittering things beyond our wildest dreams... forget the story books, it is too much for us! But if we accept these things in humility and abandon ourselves into His Heart, we shall find peace and strength in Him and all His goodness shall not overburden us."
By accepting His wish to make us eternally happy with Him, we will save more souls from fire than all evils and pain and suffering we could subject ourselves to. Through our acceptance, He gives others a new chance to see and accept Him. To be the heart of the Church through espousal to Christ is the greatest ambition... but one cannot receive it as such. The heavier the burden, the higher the calling, the greater the gift... the more humble one must become to bear it.
One of my friends once said that the reason purgatory exists is because those who are not completely pure and abandoned in Christ would be in agony to behold Him. Is there any better way to describe that of which I am speaking?
So, back to my point. In this picture, St. Clare is holding the Monstrance. The brides of Christ are given an intimacy with Him that is as much "holding Him" as this picture depicts. Anyone who has experienced the love of Christ will see the intensity of this love and the happiness it encompasses. Anyone who has understood the description of what the religious life implies will see Divine Gifts above human capacity. Anyone who has properly considered Heaven will see that the infinite kingdom of which we are heirs is too great even for our imagination. The only way to receive these gifts is through abandonment and utter humility. By doing so, we leave our human weaknesses behind us and all that is left is the shard of infinite divinity which resides in our souls.