matters, is our faithful love for God, our fidelity to him, and our kindness toward others and love for others. Therefore it is through our love for God that we become fully human and shine like the stars in the heavens; it is through our love for Christ and in making his life-story of humble service and love our story that we attain to greatness.
Further, it is the humble soul who gains access to the lovely, sublime wonders of the Divine Mind. St. Paul wrote that the "unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:14-15). The spiritual person is a humble person, not boastful or overly assertive but "poor in spirit," whose life is lived by the principles of the Gospel, and whose vision is unceasingly directed toward heavenly things. It was Jesus Christ, God made man who said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 5:3). It is by our humility that God is moved to reach down, grip us in his powerful yet tender and compassionate hands, and thus raise us on high and set us upon meadows of delight, warmth and peace.
In The Imitation of Christ we read: "If you wish to learn and appreciate something worth while, then love to be unknown and considered as nothing. Truly to know and despise self is the best and most perfect counsel. To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. . . . All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself."
In becoming humble as a little child, the season of Advent is made fruitful and the door to the Savior's regenerative and transforming love is thrown open. It is as a little and trusting child that we are drawn into union with God. It is in our smallness that we are made great: "At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, 'Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?' And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, 'Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven'" (Mt 18:1-4).
This Advent, let us humble ourselves, which is none other than dying to self. Let us recognize our complete dependency on God who "is love" (1 Jn 14:6). Let us listen and respond to Christ's voice transmitted by holy mother Church and thus belong to the truth (Jn 18:37; Lk 10:16); let us open our hearts, become as little children, and allow God to raise us up according to his good pleasure; let us nurture the seed of humility planted within us by God, that we may shout sincerely, confidently, and with joy: "Adveniet!" He will come!
F. K. Bartels is a Catholic writer who knows the Catholic Faith is one of the greatest gifts a man could ever receive. He is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit him also at joyintruth.com
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Advent, humility, the virtue of humility, virtues, spiritual advancement, the spiritual life, welcoming Christ, Christ is coming, the season of advent, F. K. Bartels
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Christmas / Advent News
- A Layman's Plea for Tolerance of Catholics
- A Question For The Christmas Season: Do You Want To Become A Saint?
- Every Leader Supporting Abortion is Herod, Every Child Killed a Holy Innocent
- Feast of St. Stephen, Proto-Martyr, Calls us to Reflect on the Gift of Deacons
- Fr. Sly on the Feast of St John in the Octave of Christmas
- Welcoming the Birth of the Redeemer in the Womb: Jesus was an Embryonic Person
- Merry Christmas: Love is Born on Christmas Morn and the World is Born Anew
- Pope St Leo the Great: Christian, Remember Your Dignity
- Pope Benedict XVI: If God's Light is Extinguished, Man's Divine Dignity is also Extinguished
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?