I’ve noticed that during Lent there is very little discussion about the Benedictine keystone value – humility. Perhaps that’s because during our fasting, prayers, and meditation we are learning the lessons of humility. We learn about our place in the universe, about not making either ourselves, our habits, or our worldly attachments anybody’s God. Humility is about realizing that we, every single one of us, are all equal players and teammates in a common project called life.
We live in a culture that hoards money, title, power, and prestige. The antidote to an achievement-driven, image-ridden, competitive society is humility. It is also the antidote to the myth of perfectionism, that can sink a soul in despair and lead it to abandon the very thought of a spiritual life. Humility makes us look at our sexism, our racisms, and our narcissism. It even makes us look at our spiritual arrogance in the face of the world’s other great spiritual traditions.
During this Lenten season as we learn and practice humility, we become able to never be disappointed in what we do or don’t get in life, because we come to realize, it isn’t ours to claim in the first place. We need humility in the world now more than ever. Humility makes it possible for people to see beyond themselves, to value each other, to touch the world gently, peacefully, and make it better.
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