Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Benedictine Humility

The third step of humility is that we submit to the prioress or abbot in all obedience for the love of God, imitating Jesus Christ of whom the apostle says: "Christ became obedient even to death (Phil 2:8)."
Benedict argues that the third rung on the ladder of humility is the ability to submit ourselves to the wisdom of another.
Rung three brings us face to face with our struggle for power. It makes us face an authority outside of ourselves. But once I am able to do that, then there is no end to how high I might rise, how deep I might grow.   Insights for the Ages - Joan Chittister (Changes daily).
How true - it is the people who will not let me get away with the simple explanation, who challenge me to go behind my mask and rip it off (and the next, and the next...), who love me enough to not mind the real me that emerges (which of course isn't as bad as I fear - though one day...).

I have been lucky enough to find a number of such people who have done this for me in my life, and all of them have been priests - though I am not saying that all priests would be one of them!  I do not think that that is an accident (good you might say - that is what I want from my priest), I think that the training I received encouraged me to go down that route, but I recognise that not everyone took it.  It wasn't easy, and it meant facing up to lots of "stuff" that had been buried for more years than I care to remember - but it was worth it!

So often the reason for the masks is a wish to control what is going on around us (which I blogged recently) - when in fact we can't anyway - letting go means becoming vulnerable - we need a safe place to learn this.

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