Hear our voice, O Lord, according to your faithful love.
Mt Ranier, WA, United States.
Humility (cont.) extracted from: Joan Chittister. The monastery of the heart: an invitation to a meaningful life. Blue Bridge, 2011, ch. 21, pp. 169-186
… continued from yesterday
The fourth step of humility is that if "difficult, unfavourable,
or even unjust conditions"
are our lot in life,
that we "endure it without weakening
or seeking escape,"
that we must learn to persevere
in order to discover what darkness—
as well as light—
has to teach us.
Life is not a straight line,
not even the spiritual life.
There are obstacles and obstructions,
resistance and regrets,
in the path everywhere.
Humility enables us to understand
that there are reasons for darkness,
blessings in difficulties,
hope to be gained from struggles
that scour the soul of the dross
of spiritual ennui.
The fourth step of humility
tells us to endure through the mist of life's spiritual night
until the light rises once again in us.
The fifth step of humility,
the Rule says,
is when we "do not conceal … any sinful thoughts"
nor "any wrongs committed in secret."
This step of humility
is the unmasking project
of our lives.
It frees us to be who we are
and become who we must,
despite the judgements of others.
It means that we must never allow
our image—even our own image of ourselves,
let alone the image of ourselves by those around us—
to exceed the real truth about ourselves.
Once we have acknowledged who we are,
there is no amount of calumny that can ever
really hurt us again.
The fifth step of humility says
that acknowledging our faults
will save us from falling victim
to the false impressions
that keep us in public chains
to the ideas of others about us,
that trap us
into pretending to be
who we are not.
continued tomorrow …
Russian Orthodox Lenten hymn, "Arise, O God", arr. Pavel Chesnokov. Choir of the Patriarchal cathedral of the Epiphany, Moscow, and Gennadiy Kharitov.
Photographs of the Holy Danilov Monastery in Moscow.
May God our Redeemer show us compassion and love. Amen.