Cardinal Mahony: “I am being called to be humiliated…”

From his blog:

From our earliest catechism days we learn about the virtue of humility.  We study it, we think about it; but we don’t embrace it.

And why?  Because humility is all about self-effacing, about seeing ourselves as far more diminished than we had hoped.  As a result, few of us set out to embrace humility for Lent or as a pattern for our lives.  Most us us accept a few affronts and neglects as humility, and then move on.

But as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are actually called to the fullness of humility:  humiliation, and publicly.

Today’s Gospel gives us the stark reality and immediate challenge:  “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” {Luke 9:23]  Daily means each and every day, not now and then on our faith journeys, and on our terms.

That desire flows from our lips so easily, but we seldom mean it fully and internally.  It’s almost a spiritual throw-away for us.  But Jesus means it so deeply.

Given all of the storms that have surrounded me and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles recently, God’s grace finally helped me to understand:  I am not being called to serve Jesus in humility.  Rather, I am being called to something deeper–to be humiliated, disgraced, and rebuffed by many.

I was not ready for this challenge.  Ash Wednesday changed all of that, and I see Lent 2013 as a special time to reflect deeply upon this special call by Jesus.

To be honest with you, I have not reached the point where I can actually pray for more humiliation.  I’m only at the stage of asking for the grace to endure the level of humiliation at the moment.

In the past several days, I have experienced many examples of being humiliated.  In recent days, I have been confronted in various places by very unhappy people.  I could understand the depth of their anger and outrage–at me, at the Church, at about injustices that swirl around us.

Thanks to God’s special grace, I simply stood there, asking God to bless and forgive them.

Read it all.  

Trackbacks

  1. [...] In all her column is reassuring, enlightening and thoughtful, but it’s also troubling. Both Deacon Greg and Mark Shea have posted a link to Mahony’s latest blogpost and I must agree with Mark in [...]

  2. [...] to the cardinal’s blog post yesterday, in which the archbishop of Los Angeles continues his Lenten meditation on, well, himself.From the cardinal’s blog: The poem of the Suffering Servant is important for all of us who [...]


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