Humility in Service

by Dennis Montecillo

Humility (CS Lewis)

This month we are privileged to feature articles written by our parish clergy.
Our parish priest, Fr. Reu, speaks candidly about what called him to be a priest, and his abiding desire to serve God through his teaching charism. As the saying goes, sometimes we make plans, and God laughs. Instead he called Fr. Reu into positions of leadership in his order.

Fr. Baltasar writes about how the very foundation of the Franciscan order is about humility; about how leaders are called to be servants of the community. There is, of course, no better example of this than their very own leader, St. Francis!

Fr. Efren humbly shares a personal experience of how he and a fellow priest were called to respond humbly to personal attacks heaped upon them by an irate person. Can you relate to their experience?

Most people believe that humility is the antonym of pride. While likely true, I prefer to think of humility as being antonymous with self-centeredness, but I can appreciate how description seems to somehow miss the mark. I think that the Latin phrase “Incurvatus in se” describes the relationship better – it is a theological phrase describing a life lived “inward” for self rather than others.

It is said that references to humility occur 35 times in the Bible – perhaps not as many as “be not afraid”, but a significant amount nonetheless. One things is clear from these scriptural passages – humility is a heart attitude, not merely an outward demeanor. One may put on an outward show of humility but still have a heart full of pride and arrogance. Jesus said that those who are “poor in spirit” would have the kingdom of heaven. Being poor in spirit means that only those who admit to an absolute bankruptcy of spiritual worth will inherit eternal life. Therefore, humility is a prerequisite for the Christian. If we believe this to be the case, it is most certainly true for those of us called to be clergy.

While humility may not be sufficient to enter the kingdom of heaven, it is certainly a necessary condition!

As published in the March 26 issue of the Parish Bulletin.

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