Being humble does not mean being insignifigant!

Have we ever taken the time to think deeply about humility? 


I spent the great majority of this exploring it…


asking myself and others who the most humble person was that they knew…


and why they characterized that person as humble.


What is surprising…


I often knew of the people that other folks identified as the most humble person they knew…..

Jesus, Gahndai, Mother Teresa, Pope Francis, St. Francis, often a teacher, or grandmother, or dad or mom,  or some person of signifigance in their lives.


We can often make an awful mistake in interpreting this Gospel pericope. 


To be humble does not mean to be insignificant!


In fact quite the opposite is true….


the person who is truly humble is often quite signifigant in one’s life or in the world!


Believe me…


as I spent the four grace filled days with Mother Teresa in WashingtonDC….


her habit was clean and pressed, she ate well, she was housed at a nice hotel, and was well tended to….

yet she was and is probably one of the most humble people I will ever know. 


She knew who she was, and what she was being called to be for the world and for the poor…


she also knew she was no better and no worse than any other person…


in fact at one point she said to our group….


we all stand in need of God’s love….


now that is true humility!



Each and everyone of us is infinitely important in the reign of God…


only we can share with the world God from our perspective…


while we are infinitely important, and in the same breath we are not the be all and end all of the reign of God….


we are one of many facets….


one of many ways of touching the Divine which is beyond our individual grasp.


Humility does not have to do with morality…


we are human..


we stand in judgment of one another each and every day….

humility has to do with our understanding of our place…

namely none of us save ourselves…


God does that!


None of us meets out God’s mercy….God does that!


None of us redeems the world…


we either contribute to that redemption or dilute from seeing it come to fruition!


Being humble is not self deprecating, or self depreciating, or self destructing…


being humble means celebrating our giftedness, celebrating what we are and can contribute to the world and recognizing in the same breath that each and every person stands in need of God’s mercy and love and is ultimately redeemed by Christ, not by us.


Adam and Eve…tree of the knowledge of good and evil….the sin wasn’t eating…the sin was our desire to stand in judgement of each other…as if we are superior or inferior to one another.


I have had the opportunity to meet several people whom I think model true humility.


Mother Teresa….she didnt walk around with her hands folded and the rosary beads clanking…in fact at one point in my time with her she said…sometimes I pray these just to keep my mouth shut!


Humble doesn’t mean being dirt poor…it means being poor in spirit…poor in realizing that in God’s eyes we are precious, loved, redeemed and showered with mercy….Gods mercy not ours!


Humble as a Church mouse…..I have known many a Church mouse that has quitely and consistenly chewed and gnawed their way into and thru the wires of a church enough to start a fire and bring it down to a pile of ashes!


There is power in being humble…


The pharisee prayed to himself….the tax collector prayed to God….I wonder who we pray to?


Humble prayer pierces the clouds….


not because it is better than anyone elses…


but because it reminds us of our need for God. 


Timothy says…I have fought the good fight…I have finished the race….


not I have won the fight….and not …I took first place in the race….


We all walk this journey of faith in our own unique way and its not a journey of win or lose…its a journey to the heart of Christ…


Where we all are one….where we all stand in need of God’s mercy…as recipients of God’s love….and filled with Gods grace!


Stieny….my first Spiritual Director..God rest his soul…used to say…never confuse piety with humility….one is a show and the other is a way of understanding oneself in light of God…sometimes they meet…most often they don’t!


I hope and pray that we are all can grow into being humbly significant !


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