Humility has begun to make sense to me.

Christianity is rife with the word “humility,” and often it’s reduced to some trite sentimentalism and often born out of false piety, whereby I mean piety that is feigned or forced. True devotion to God cannot be forced; it must be born of sincerity and truth.

God is not sappy. God is not about maudlin syrup. God is God is God- which is to say that God is the Absolute Mystery beyond all things.

Thus have I journeyed to the point of my own assumptions and presuppositions, now being confronted with what absolute lack of humility I’ve had when coming into the Presence of God.

Allow me to be clear: “humility” is so often feigned or forced that it’s disgusting. To humiliate someone, to force someone to bow to one’s will out of abuse of one’s own superior position in a hierarchy, is monstrous and born of the sin of Pride.

Pride is the chief sin from which all others flow, and we are prideful to a remarkable degree by our very nature.

Yet pride cannot be smashed but by realization of God’s true grandeur, and this can be terrifying.

We want God to love us- we want to feel good and happy and right in this world, and that’s fine. At the same time, we don’t want to recognize the truly tremendous REALITY that is God.

Even our own love for God might seem inaccessible to us due to our own pride- I think it is in our nature that we want to love God and feel love for Him. (I say “Him” because we don’t have a better, gender-neutral word to use.)  Pride blocks the way.

In humility truly experienced, the Mysterium Tremendum becomes apparent, a crushing Reality pressing down on the heart and mind. In this experience, I can apprehend chants of old- this is what they celebrate, what they worship, the rhythm and the falls and rises- this is what they mean to speak of.

Yet even the chants in all their beauty, the churches in all their glory, all the art that has gone into the Christian religion pales in comparison of the simple, sweet moment of humility in which Heaven is opened and the heart knows directly.

In some cases, we have a feeling of self-satisfaction or smugness that we were correct about something. This, too, is evidence of pride, yet the antidote is nearby- that we do not uphold our correctness in matters as indicative of our own abilities but that somewhere grace and mercy were near enough that we fell into no error.

Let he who has ears, listen. Those who are traveling the mystic’s path will hear what I am saying; to others, I will sound insane or at least muddled. No, my friends- this world- this world is what is muddled, and it’s up to us to solve the problem.

Pax vobiscum.

Steve

Advertisements