“The more humble a man is and the more subject to God…the more at peace [he will be].” (IC 1,4,2) “[T]he best man, who stands and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made complete.” (Jn 3:29)

A regular theme of Kempis, as we have already seen and will continue to see, is humility.  Humility results in many good things, including peace of mind and heart (1,4).

John the Baptist’s words above (Jn 3:22-30) come after his disciples have a dispute and then express concern (and maybe some envy) that Jesus is baptizing nearby and “everyone is coming to him.”  John responds that he has already publicly proclaimed that he, himself, is not the Christ, but is preparing the way for Him — the best man to the groom.

We know that Jesus said that no greater man was born than John (see Mt 11:11), and we know that a hallmark of canonized saints is radical humility.  So, what human person in all of history could have been more self-effacing than John (aside from Jesus’ mother)?  He understood his mission, fulfilled it perfectly, and now it was his time to exit the scene (and soon, this life).

It seems to me that one major thing lacking in the world and in individual lives is peace.  Even in the midst of chaos, a holy soul finds tranquility in the trust in God that comes with humility: God is God, I’m not, so I will follow His will, not mine, whether ordained by Him or permitted by Him.  One finds much more peace in faith.  A lesson for us in the turbulence of these times.

There is a little book I love, somewhat hard to find, called Confidence in God written in the early 20th century by an English Jesuit.  On page after page it addresses this very issue is a unique and heartening way.  Pick it up if you can.

Jesus of Nazareth photo by Pat York

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