"Eat Some Pie" is the enticing title of Chapter 10 of When Faith Feels Fragile, the wonderful book I have chosen to use as a guide for my reflections this Advent/Christmas season. I was very excited for this tasty chapter, although I was pretty sure Rev. R. Scott Hurd was inviting me to feast on HUMBLE pie, I stayed in denial until I did indeed reach those words in the chapter.
The chapter speaks not only of humility but also of weakness. Weakness (as well as humility) can be a fairly confusing idea, especially to Americans who pride themselves on independence, strength and power. As Fr. Hurd points out, "Jesus came to us in weakness, not in power", and further exemplified by the words of Bl. Mother Teresa (also shared in this chapter), "We can understand the majesty of God; it is very difficult to understand the humility of God." We hear that descriptor often to describe Jesus - he had a humble beginning, was born in a humble manger, and humbled himself to accept death on a cross. A paradox to those looking for one stronger than they to save them, in essence from themselves. Yet, this is Jesus, and this a truth of our faith we are called to accept, and even embrace.
I have to be honest, I have always thought that to humble myself meant to prepare myself to be humiliated!! I actually recall about 10 years ago praying to be a more humble person - within a week the WORSE picture of me in the entire world was place on the front cover our local paper, which at the time, was mailed DIRECTLY to every home in town!! Definitely as case of - careful what you pray for. While truly humiliating, it was not the answer to my prayer to be humble, probably more to do with my struggle with vanity - sure did bring that down a notch or 2!!
True humility is 'being down to earth', it is being completely HONEST with ourselves about who we really are, and it is recognizing the limits of who we truly are - warts and all. Humility is such a crucial part of growing in faith, as Fr. Hurd reminds us, "When we're humble, we can accept who we are and because of that, we can accept that we have a need for God." People who don't see themselves 'at want' either in their personality or their life, usually don't see themselves of 'at want' of a Savior, or mistakenly believe any want they may have can be attained by their own work or doing. Oddly I found it incredibly liberating to let go of having to be perfect all the time. When I realized I can just be goofy, sometimes air-headed, always hyper, and occasionally an even witty (at my own expense of course) person - the true Allison not a false expression of Allison, my stress level reduced significantly. In Reconciliation, I am often told how well I know myself - many hours before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament asking for that revelation, time in God's word looking closely at my own life in light of teachings and lessons I find there, and giving my life each day (honestly again and again) in prayer to God will do that!!
So here is today's million dollar questions..Who are you? Who are you in Christ? When you take a look at the real you, who truly are you (warts and all)?