Simplicity and Humility

In today`s society we have excluded and eradicated from our admired virtues both simplicity and humility. Virtues that have been praised by Jesus and the saints of the church since the beginning of Christianity. However, these attitudes have been replaced by the "virtues" of complexity and pretentiousness. We admire the arrogance of those who declare themselves as self-sufficient and independent in the acquirement of success and "knowledge". The world arrogantly claims: "I am successful because I have singularly attained enlightenment in a certain field of study. My capabilities have been the only pre-reqJourneyinguisite for my own growth." Yet in Matthew chapter 11 verse 25 Jesus exclaims, "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike." Who are the wise and the learned?

The wise and the learned are those who believe that there measurement of  success and knowledge depends solely on their human efforts. Yet Jesus says that God has "hidden these things", wisdom and true knowledge, from the wise and has "revealed them to the childlike." Who are the childlike? Those that abandon themselves with simplicity, trust, humility and love in the heart of God and allow themselves to be delicately guided by divine inspiration. What can be more docile and vulnerable than a baby? Yet they trust that wherever they are taken they will be safe. However, we will discern further on what a childlike virtue is.

To begin to capture the depths of this statement we must begin asking ourselves what wisdom is. It is unnecessary to make this clarification, yet I will. Wisdom is a mystery, beyond our exhaustion. We will never encompass and penetrate fully with our understanding the mystery of wisdom. Since "all the efforts of the human mind cannot exhaust the essence of a single fly,"  as St. Thomas Aquinas says. Much less the essence of God, of Wisdom. But we can continually savour and delve deeper in the marvels of divine Wisdom, and we will, if we cooperate with humility and simplicity. This is a journey that has no end. So let's do it.The Catholic Catechism states, "Wisdom is not the quoting of facts. Wisdom is a gift that allows a person to understand things from God's point of view. In other words, Wisdom allows a person to recognize truth. A person with the Gift of Wisdom is able to take this truth and use it to glorify God by choosing Godly solutions to problems." And in another place, "{wisdom} it is the capacity to love spiritual things more than material ones."

These declarations clearly point to the fact that the wisdom of God is definitely not constrained or founded in the accumulation of information. Instead, it is a gift from high in which we are participators of "God´s point of view", that is, in God´s infinite vision of reality. We see things and life as it is, because we are introduced in the perfect vision of the nature of things. Since no one knows better the nature of beings than the Source of all beings, we then begin to see truth from Truth´s own perspective. And we are capacitated by the Source of all Good, to live according to this truth in our daily life. Hence our actions spring from this divine participation, or better, divine communion. For we truly come-in-union with God´s wisdom.

Another characteristic "is the capacity to love spiritual things more than material ones." This allows us to elucidate that wisdom gives us a right conception of reality and a proper value for each being or thing. Spiritual things are by essence incorruptible, and corruptibility is a characteristic of only material things. This incapacity to decay proper to its nature makes of spiritual beings ever lasting. And hence the value of spiritual realities is cuasi-infinite and the value for purely material realities is only finite. We can also then point out the beauty of the human person. We are bridges in which the spiritual and material encounter in profound unity. The Infinte relates with the finite in us, and time enters into eternity. But that is a different subject. Anyhow, wisdom allows us to have a proper concept and appreciation of the nature of everything. Consequently, this light for the soul enables us to know how to act in each circumstance according to the truth. In perfect harmony with the spiritual and the material, and in perfect harmony with the law of God. The law of Love.outdoors-laika-bloom

In conclusion, we can say that this gift from God empowers the soul with the capacity to know through God´s knowledge and this perfect participation facilitates us to live according to the nature of things and the nature of God. Wisdom not only enlightens the understanding but it also impulses the will towards action "in spirit and in truth." Action that because it is united with God has also an infinite impact for it is a perpetuation of His transcendence. Wisdom enlightens the mind with Truth and its delicious savor impulses the will with love for Truth and Love. It is important to see how wisdom satiates both our intellectuality and our willpower; illuminating our minds and inflaming our hearts it allows us to know and live in truth.

We must make another important clarification. Wisdom, which is a participation of God's vision is a gift. His infinity will always surpass us. Hence, to acquire knowledge of the infinite and eternal, the Infinite and Eternal must participate us this excelling knowledge. So what can we do to partake of this Divine Illumination or Revelation? Have high SAT scores? Or greatly qualified jobs? Have others think highly of me? No. We must be like a child. "Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Mt 19; 14). Yes, to acquire the knowledge from the kingdom of God we must be like children, humble and simple.

Children's openness and attentiveness is wonderful. They have no preconceived notions that bias their judgements and actions. They receive vulnerably what is presented to them, whether it be food, clothing, love, information, etc. They don't refuse the knowledge taught to them by their parents and their love or lack their of. Their mind is not contaminated with ways of life and their philosophies, therefore they are masters of living the present moment with no desire for vanities, their only concern is to live, and that is why they cry when they find their life troubled by sleep or hunger. They are mysteriously aware that they depend solely on the care their parents provide, and without them they would surely die.

Lets now translate that in a spiritual language. God is willing, and greatly desires to infuse His wisdom in us. Yet we have forgotten to be like children, and constantly doubt or prefer our little egoistic stance on anything to His perfect vision. If God does not fit our intellectual edifice of what God should be to us or not be, then we quickly discard such 'silliness'. However we do not need to panic if others disregard this wisdom for St. Paul says in his first letter to the Corinthians, "Now the natural person  does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually." If others or even most consider u6-99233-0-baby-walking-outside-1429227091s foolish for believing what God has taught us, then let them be and let us continue discerning through the Spirit of God.  Who are we to dictate how God is or not? For "who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to counsel him?" (1 Cor. 2; 16). We do not dictate God's being and He does not depend on our poor conception of His nature. He is simply as He is. It is us who must assimilate ourselves to His being and live according to His truth. He is, and like children we must allow God to be God and accept His nourishment, love and teachings. We must eradicate from our life all arrogance towards God and His wisdom. With simplicity and humility recognize our limitations and God's unlimitedness. We must allow His omnipresence to involve us and embrace us like little children not valuing ANYTHING more than His wisdom. Surely, this is a mysterious Wisdom, but also a perfect one.

"No one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God." (1 Cor. 2; 11). Therefore let us be childlike, simple and humble and put no obstacle to God educating our soul. "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." (Mt. 7;7). Let us implore God to give us His holy wisdom, to give us Himself. Lets remember to be simple and humble and with St. Anselm let us pray:

"Teach me to seek you, and reveal yourself to me as I seek,

because I can neither seek you if you do not teach me how,

nor find you unless you reveal yourself.

Let me seek you in desiring you;

let me desire you in seeking you;

let me find you in loving you;

let me love you in finding you."

 

 

 

Written by brother Andres Maria

   

Leave a Reply