I recently attended a Spiritual Exercises Weekend put on by the LC Fathers. I always receive wonderful "lights" when I attend these retreats. This year, there was not any large number of revelations by any means, but there is one that really stuck with me:
I was laying my pride before God in Prayer, struggling with the tendancy I have to bask in the praise of others. A subborn pride that also lends itself to vanity. I was realizing that the only way that God's work was going to get done was for me to let go of my pride (and with it the tendancy to do everything myself insted of relying on his strength working through my weakness). I was asking for help, asking for the grace to break out of this "Reliance on myself" so-to-speak. It was late on the Saturday night at the end of a long day of "excercising".
His only words were "Goodnight, little one".
So, I picked myself up and went to bed, thinking "You're right, Lord. It's been a long day, we'll take this up in the morning..."
Only when I woke up the next morning did I realize that he had answered my prayer already.
Reflecting on "Little one", I realized in one small phrase was captured the essence of humility: the counter to the pride I so wish to be rid of.
It helps to have three constant reminders of little-ness around me all the time (Their names are Elizabeth, Zach and Heather, and all being 5 and under, they fit the "little" title well).
To be "little" means to accept you don't know it all and you can't do it all.
It means accepting who I am as a created being, and that I have a heavenly Father that has loved me even before I knew myself. It means I will always need to grow, and when I wish to do big things, it needs to be done while holding my Daddy's hand.
The key to tackling this pride of mine, that wishes to take the place of God and run the show, is to repeat to myself that I am a "little one", and if I am truely a diciple of the "little one" who arrived on Christmas day, I must follow him by entering into his humility, taking up his cross and keeping my eyes on our Father's will.
Even this Christ-child, who with a mere thought, could have wiped Herod from existance, chose to rely on his earthly papa to watch over and care for himself and Mary. As he came into our world, he was un-assuming, showing us the way by fuffilling the role he had set for humanity: To be humble, to follow the will of our heavenly father, regardless of the cost to himself, for in that path, in that gift of himself, he shows us it is the only way we will find ourselves.
Now I must attend my littlest one, who is crying out in her time of need...my child and my teacher, all in one cute little package.
Merry Christ Mass everyone.