When I think of humility, I try to be humble about it. Realizing who I am in the sight of God reinforced my personal center, “Have in you the mind of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5). At the same time, I am so insignificant in the larger scale of humanity, yet I am the only person who can say Jesus is Lord, with the grace of the Holy Spirit. This is not a dichotomy as much as synchronicity.
The fear of the Lord is the first step in the Rule of St. Benedict’s Chapter on Humility. https://christdesert.org/prayer/rule-of-st-benedict/chapter-7-humility/ For me, it is a daily, sometimes even hourly challenge to choose Christ over the world. Pride has a way of sneaking up on me and seducing me with false promises. The great deceiver is one who counts on my struggle with being humble to tempt me with other options that don’t include the love of Christ.
I have wondered about what it means to fear the Lord. Is it being afraid of God because He is powerful and we are weak? Does it mean God is a punisher of those who do not keep His commandments, one to be avoided at all costs because he is so frightening?
This weeks funeral of H.R.H. Prince Philip was the occasion for me to have a thought about fearing the Lord in terms of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. I asked God to be merciful on Prince Philip, the Queen, and me. When I looked at the funeral, I saw Her Majesty sitting alone grieving in the choir stalls of the Chapel. She is just like all other human beings, I thought, yet she goes through the same grief that all of us do. Then, it occured to me that seeing her is like fear of the Lord. What does this fear feel like? She is like us but not like us because of her title. This is how I think fear of the Lord can make sense.
I must remind myself that, even when I ask God for his blessings on me, or when I take Christ into my heart in the Eucharist, Jesus is God, or the Christ (anointed one). Humility is my awareness that God is God and I am me, that I am not God. This fear is more like respect like we have for Queen Elizabeth II. Humility helps me to place God number one, with all else falling into place.
PLAYING WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
In my last Lectio Divina, the Holy Spirit asked me if He could play a game with me. You can imagine my surprise during this meditation. How do you play a game with God the Holy Spirit? I don’t know if all this happened because I had been watching a basketball game earlier, but I said, “Why not?” The Holy Spirit told me, “Here are the rules: everyone wins; there is only one rule, “love God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:36) Here is the game. I will give you the question for you to consider, then give you the answer, if you complete your part of the game. I asked what part of this game is mine. The Holy Spirit answered, “Listen with the ear of your heart.” It does work, this game I played with the Holy Spirit because I realized that these are God’s games, not the one I usually play on god, which is my game. Humility is the key to being in the presence of God and just being happy to listen.