“Here no man can stand, unless he be ready with all his heart to humble himself, for the love of God.” (IC 1,17,3) | “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” (Mk 9:35)

Kempis closes out his rich chapter on the monastic life (1,17) with the words above.  As we have seen with Kempis, the theme of humility (right relationship with God that leads to right relationship with others) is something that he, and thus we, must continue to come back to.

As does Jesus.  Today we hear in the Gospel (Mk 9:30-37) that Jesus demonstrates to the apostles the correct attitude they should have regarding their place in the Kingdom.  They were arguing who is the greatest among them.  Yet He shows them that the humility and openness of a child is to be their disposition.  (Mt 18:1-5 expands upon this idea and clarifies it.)

Humility makes us receptive to Jesus “for the love of God.”  And in so doing, we are better able to be truly agents of God’s love and mercy toward others whether in a monastic setting or not.  This is not easy for us with our fallen nature, but through prayer and perseverance, “for God all things are possible” (Mt 19:26).

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