Talking about “Things I learned this Lent”


From Thursday 13: Things I learned this Lent

I do not yet know enough – about Church teachings and history, as well as about good speech writing – to be able to write good homilies (yet).

I also do not yet possess the proper state of humility to be a good homilist.  I have struggled with pride all throughout Lent, wondering if these meditations are being read by others and what they think of them.  This is not the proper attitude to have.  I know the proper attitude is supposed to be "were others helped," not, "what did they think of me and my writings."  (Please pray for God to grant me that wisdom and strength to do so, if He is calling me to eventually be a deacon.)

I realized, over this past Easter weekend, that these statements are the same statement – the fact that I think I do not know enough is indicative of the very fact that I am not humble enough.  If I were humble enough, I would realize that any lack of knowledge would be made up for by the Holy Spirit.  My own intellect, no matter how refined or "complete", is not sufficient to do the Lord’s work – rather, reliance on the Holy Spirit for guidance will ensure that I am speaking to the things God wills, not what I happen to have learned most recently, "For the holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say" (Luke 12:12).

Belief that I do not know enough negates the presence of God working in what I am to write or say.  Therefore, instead of the homilies being the will of God, they become products of my own will.  After all, "fear [respect] of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom/knowledge" (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:10; Proverbs 15:33), and if I am not respecting the Lord’s will and humbling myself before Him and man, my homilies and meditations will naturally lack wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.

This was truly borne out between the Mass for Holy Thursday and the Mass for Easter Sunday.  I was lector for both of these Masses.  After an entire Lent of little to no praise for any of the meditations I had written on this blog, I was praised many times over simply for reading the word of God.  The lesson for me is that the words of Scripture can stand on their own – my own words, if not written or said in humility, will only cause me to feel dejected or unappreciated.  "Pride goes before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18), therefore, "I must decrease, so he may increase" (John 3:30).

So, I ask again (if there is anyone reading this): please pray that I will be able to humbly serve the Lord, and that I will always keep fear of the Lord foremost in my mind, well before my intellect or the approval of men.  Also, please forgive my hubris for thinking that my words might be revered by others, and my intellect is sufficient to do God’s work, and ask the Lord to forgive me as well.

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