Prepare to say “ouch” a couple of times as you read this list from St. Josemaria. Or if you are in my club, way more than that.
Sometimes we are so quick to cry “scrupulosity!” when someone speaks of trying to improve in one of the ways that St. Josemaria talks about. Join me in vigilantly rejecting any spirit of irritation or discouragement as you read through these. Those kinds of feelings aren’t from God, but rather are from Someone who really doesn’t want us to go from good to better.
Let’s choose instead to be thankful that God has perhaps revealed some specific types of situations where we had not realized that we could improve.
Let’s trust that this desire of our hearts is pleasing to Him, and that He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion (Phil 1:6).
Finally, let’s strive together for the kind of heart for God that finds Humble Pie more sweet than bitter.:)
And now, St. Josemaria in his own words describes some of those everyday situations where our actions can point to a lack of humility in ourselves.
- Thinking that what you do or say is better than what others do or say
- Always wanting to get your own way
- Arguing when you are not right or–when you are–insisting stubbornly or with bad manners
- Giving your opinion without being asked for it, when charity does not demand you to do so
- Despising the point of view of others
- Not being aware that all the gifts and qualities you have are on loan
- Not acknowledging that you are unworthy of all honour or esteem, even the ground you are treading on or the things you own
- Mentioning yourself as an example in conversation
- Speaking badly about yourself, so that they may form a good opinion of you, or contradict you
- Making excuses when rebuked
- Hiding some humiliating faults from your [spiritual] director, so that he may not lose the good opinion he has of you
- Hearing praise with satisfaction, or being glad that others have spoken well of you
- Being hurt that others are held in greater esteem than you
- Refusing to carry out menial tasks
- Seeking or wanting to be singled out
- Letting drop words of self-praise in conversation, or words that might show your honesty, your wit or skill, your professional prestige, etc.
- Being ashamed of not having certain possessions
Little by little we improve, don’t we? In a month, or a year, or in ten years, we will wake up and realize that something that was very hard for us to do at one time is no longer a stumbling block. God is faithful!