Friday, October 07, 2016

Humility in the second degree

The second degree of humility is that a person love not his own will nor take pleasure in satisfying his desires, but model his actions on the saying of the Lord, "I have come not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. It is written also, "Self-will has its punishment, but constraint wins a crown."
St Paul tells us very clearly that Charity "seeketh not her own". It always looks to the beloved. Asan act of humility, we must recognise that what we may want to do is simply not the right thing, not matter how strongly we feel that tug. Where does this tug come from? Who is pulling our strings?

Once we realise that the temptations of the world seek to sink their claws into us, we realise that it is succumbing to these temptations that imprisons us. Humility recognises just how much we are a slave to our own desires and lusts. Taking a step back and actually examining our actions when we are faced with something we desire is enlightening. We see how the object of our desire focusses our attention solely onto that object, captivating us, like a moth to a flame. We relinquish control of ourselves so that our desires overwhelm us and distract us from who we are.

As we have seen, Humility is the search for the truth about ourselves, and we recognise that our desires stop us from being free to be ourselvesas we really are. We know that it is God who tells us who we are: He is our Creator and alone possesses the right to define us. In holding on to our own desires above Him is a serious problem, and a vice that we must seek to end in ourselves with the help of God.

If Humility is from the Human Nature, then Love is from the Divine. Our Lord gives us Love so that we can indeed free ourselves from our selfish desires and become who He created. He gives us the example of how to put aside the desires of the flesh so that He might show His love for us on the Cross. In so doing, He sets the pattern, and enables us to conquer the will of the flesh so as to be free to obey the Will of God. That is true freedom, and is available for those who seek to practise Humility in the Love of God.

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