Several things today have spoken to me and all of them had one key message: humility. During one of the Catholicism sessions by Fr. Barron and Word on Fire, St. Teresa of Avila’s poem “Bookmark” was quoted.
Let nothing disturb you; Let nothing frighten you. All things are passing. God never changes. Patience obtains all things. Nothing is wanting to him who possesses God. God alone suffices.
This is a powerful poem to meditate on just on its own. When I read it, I can feel my shoulders dropping and my blood pressure calming. It is like a warm summer breeze blowing through my heart and calming me from within. But, besides this poem today, we also have today’s first reading from 2 Kings 5:1-15. In verse 14, it says that when Naaman swallowed his pride and listened to Elisha and the advice even of his servants, he was healed. Before he could be healed, he needed to humble himself. He needed to relax and let nothing disturb him. Let nothing frighten him. Realize that all things are passing and that God never changes. Ultimately, God alone is enough.
God resists the arrogant, but to the humble he gives grace. (1Peter 5:5)
When I feel as if I alone know what is needed to solve whatever problem that I face, then I am arrogant. I don’t like admitting my faults aloud. But, this is one from which I cannot run. It chases me down and tackles me before I can get too far away. So, to truly find His grace and the peace that comes from being infused with His grace, I need to find the humble person within.
When I am on my own, that is not a problem. Around others that I am surrounded by 95% of the time, my husband and my children, that is another story. I married a very strong man. He is strong in faith, in character, and in conviction. Since I have been raised to be a strong woman, there can be sparks flying regularly from the inevitable metal meeting metal. The grinding wheel of life has smoothed many of our rough edges over the almost 25 years of marriage we have lived, but metal on metal, no matter how smooth, will cause sparks. Being the strong woman I am, it is not easy when the sparks are flying to be humble. In fact, it is pretty much like turning Hell’s furnace into a small campfire.
Also, being humble around my children doesn’t always fly with being a strong parent either. To our children, we can’t be weak and let them walk all over us and yet at the same time, we can’t be so stern that we lose their hearts. This is an ongoing dance to balance the scales between just enough firmness and too much downy pillows catching them when they fall. Sometimes, especially with the teens and young adults, I really question where that balance is as it changes as they grow. A directions manual for this parenting balance would be very helpful if anyone ever figures out how to work it properly.
But, as I fret over some of the issues occurring right now within our household, my mind and heart keep taking me back to St. Teresa’s poem… Let nothing disturb you…….. Let nothing frighten you……All things are passing……..God never changes…….Patience obtains all things……Nothing is wanting to him who possesses God………….
God alone suffices.