St. John Paul II said the greatest attribute of God is His Mercy. Pope Francis tells us that Jesus is the face of God’s mercy. He adds that salvation depends on mercy, and when we’re not merciful, our salvation is in danger.
St. Faustina describes mercy as love’s result; love being the flower, and mercy being the fruit. Mercy has multiple levels, but to be God-like it must be completely for the other, and a total forgetting of self.
In order to give this type of mercy, we must have perfect humility. Deacon Bob quoting from “Humility and Absolute Surrender” by Andrew Murray, explained that God’s gifts are free, but our pride gets in the way of our receiving them. Imagine your favorite toys behind a glass window. You can have all of them, except the glass is in the way. Pride is like the glass preventing you from receiving the gifts God wants to give to you.
Pride can guise itself in many ways. Some common forms of hidden pride include:
- Penitence – Are we like the Pharisee, giving thanks to God that we’re not like those other sinners? Humility forgets self, and praises others, most especially praising God.
- False Humility – I’m not good enough to do that…I’m not willing to vest myself to do this. Remember, God is the one who gave you your gifts. By denying the gifts He gave you, you are denying Him. Imagine if Our Lady told the Angel Gabriel that She wasn’t good enough to be the Mother of Our Lord? God is the one who makes us “good enough.” Don’t deny Him from working through you.
- Most Insidious pride is thinking that we’re doing well by comparing ourselves to others. We should only compare ourselves to God. Then we can see our lowliness. The only sure mark is being empty of self, and doing all for God.
- Feeling let down when God doesn’t give us consolations. Why do we feel let down? Do we think we deserve them? When we get those highs from spiritual moments, is our attention on the emotion or is it on God?
“Hatred of God begins with pride.”
“Evil can have no beginning without pride, and no end without humility.” “One cannot have more faith than humility.”
Deacon Bob presented the image of us being held in God’s hand. The hand is open. We may still get buffeted by storms in life, but God keeps us from falling. When we sin, we jump out of God’s hands through our own choices. Sin always leads us away from God. Repentance is remembering God and remembering His grace. If we are focused on how bad the sin makes us feel, the guilt is about us. Sin justifies self. Repentance is about God. If we run away from our sin tendencies, because we don’t want to feel guilt; it is about us. If we run away from sin tendencies because we want to please God; that is humility.
The humble person does not crash when humiliated. The apostles were humiliated; beaten, imprisoned, thrown out of towns, yet they rejoiced. Jesus’ humility allowed Him to lay down His life. Why do we fear being humiliated? When things go wrong, a prideful person crashes for they depend on self. A humble person knows things will go wrong at times, and accepts it. They rest in God.
“I will glory in that which humbles me.”
Do we seek humility at all costs?
Mercy is giving of ourselves for the sake of the other. Humility is emptying one of self and doing all for God. Humility: The road to Mercy.