Reading: Luke 18: 9-14
from St. Louis du Montfort: The Secret of Mary, #36
One of my constant temptations is to compare myself to others (but really, what human doesn’t do this?) and thinking I’m better than they are. Perhaps it’s my interior competitive spirit that drives me to think this way. Whatever the case, placing myself above others is an expression of pride. Pride is one of the seven deadly sins because it lacks the recognition of God’s gift and grace.
So … it tends to work out (as I have a good handful of substantial examples) where God purposely humbles me. And while I deal with these situations kicking and screaming with anger and frustration and despair, I usually forget that I must approach this with humility by recognizing that God has a hand on anything I do or think.
It’s like in today’s reading regarding one of Jesus’ parables. The Pharisee compares himself to other men, and he’s grateful that he is not the others and that he deserves God’s gratitude because he follows the law. On the other hand, the tax collector recognizes that he’s a sinner and is imperfect and cries out to God for His help.
St. Louis du Montfort reflects that we’re not worthy to approach God directly because of our imperfection. Thus, we must approach with humility. He also explains that our approach to Jesus requires going through Mary as a way of humility. To me, it’s kind of like really wanting to hang out with my best friend, but I have to ask my friend’s mom for permission or for her to show me the way to my friend. A certain level of humility is required to have the guts and courage to ask my friend’s mom. Haha.
Humility. I think it’s the only way to approach the Lord. Simply because nothing about me matters were it not for God who has allowed me to have the gift of life and all the blessings and graces He wills to bestow upon me. To have a sense of pride in myself for these blessings and graces is not the way to approach the Lord because I would only be approaching…myself.
In a real world example. just today, I went out to visit nursing homes as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion so that I can offer the Eucharist to elderly residents who cannot make it to Mass. Before leaving, I obtained enough Eucharist for the number of residents I planned on visiting.
I’m driving in my car with the radio off and …I thought to myself how incredibly unworthy I am to be carrying the God of the Universe in my pocket (in a freshly blessed pyx, mind you). And not only that…driving Him around town in my Honda Civic. Part of me wished I had something better to offer in terms of transportation accommodation. I felt truly humbled by His very close proximate presence to me and what a blessing it is for me to be able to bring Him literally out in the world to elderly people who need Him.
I don’t ask for Mary’s intercession as much as I should. And perhaps out of that recognition, I should humbly go before our Blessed Mother and ask her to lead me to her Son.
“Do whatever he tells you.”
Ad Jesum per Mariam.