Friday, July 17, 2009

Where Has the Humility Gone?

Thinking and Praying about and For Stephen Boissoin and Jim Corcoran

In the evenings, before bed, my wife and I read from Living Faith, a Daily Catholic Devotions book that comes out 4 times a year. It has a reading from the day based on the scriptures for the day in the daily mass, and some prayers for evening. As the prayers change every quarter, it takes me a few weeks in a new quarter to really start to get them.

Over this past week, as I have read and followed the case of Jim Corcoran, and juxtaposed it with my friend Stephen Boissoin, it has made me sick.

But last night as we prepared for bed, things started to click in for me. Yesterday's meditation was based on Matthew 11:29 "I am meek and humble of heart." When I communicate with Stephen and read what has happened to him over the last several years, I am struck by his humility, not stupid lay down and die, and let them run over me fake humility, but I will do God's will in the face of my enemies, humility. When I read about Jim Corcoran and also what he himself has to say, I don't see it. But then, what of my own humility?

The writer of the meditation Fr. James Stephen Behrens says in part:
We are asked by Jesus to be like him, and in prayer, as we listen to the loved stillness of our lives, the peace that kind of prayer brings becomes a part of us. We should rest a bit every day and take that time to hear what is good and gentle around us. The more we listen, the more humble we become - and the more we become what we are longing to hear.
I had to read it several times last evening and again this morning, before the Ah Ha moment hit me.

Among the Evening Prayers and Blessings for this quarter is one For Confidence in Prayer as follows:
O Jesus, your disciples often found you in prayer, and so they asked you to teach them how to do it. Help me to pray in confidence to the Father, just as you did. When I am facing my own agony of doubt and fear, pray with me so that I find courage and hope. When my life leads me to the cross, take my hand so that my heart stays strong. Most of all, strengthen my resolve to pray: Not my will, but yours be done. Amen
There was also a Prayer for Inner Healing that goes like this:
Merciful Creator, send your healing Spirit into the recesses of my heart and remove every trace of bitterness, anger and resentment. I know I cling to these attitudes and unresolved grudges, but I want to be set free of them. I know they steal my energy and peace of mind, and I want to let them go. Help me to forgive where I need to and to pray for those who have offended me. Show me where I need to ask forgiveness of others so that I might experience the healing mercy that has its source in you. Amen
And finally, at the back of the book is an excerpt from a new book called Open the Door: A Journey to the True Self by Joyce Rupp. Joyce Rupp writes books that can open up your heart to growth and change if it is the right time and place. In the excerpt she says:
While we are urged repeatedly to swing open the doors to growth, it takes both intention and awareness to do so. We develop and hone this alertness through brief or extended periods of silence, focused prayer, meaningful worship, deliberate reflection and trust filled dialogue with spiritual companions. Any time we slow down, decrease our hurrying, or deliberately choose to stop and consider what is happening (or not happening) in our life, we are preparing ourselves to open the door of our heart. The divine visitor is waiting at the door. We need only to open it wide with our welcome . . .
As I read what I was writing, it finally started to make sense to me on a deeper level. This is our anniversary weekend, and so I will be with my favourite spiritual companion, and we will focus on being together, and loving each other.

I will set this all aside, and just be.

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