I've been reading about St. Teresa of Avila lately, and I'm struck by the humility of this dynamic woman who had so many gifts.
Our society puts us at odds with the notion of humility these days. We're encouraged to think about what's right for me, what I want out of life, what the world owes to me. Society compels us toward egocentrism. People who are considered successful in the world's eyes are those who have gone and gotten theirs. These are echoes of the great lie of Satan to Adam and Eve: "You will be like God."
Sadly, we sometimes can't even get away from this impulse in the Mass. How many of the hymns are sung from the perspective of the parish or the individual? How many of our priests and lay ministers encourage us to change our focus to ourselves? How does the insistence on lay participation turn our attention from service to power?
We have so many opportunities to not be humble.
And we (or at least I) have so many reminders of why we should be humble.
I'm reminded everytime I note my own pettiness, my cynicism, my judgementality, my lack of charity (even when it only occurs in my mind).