Posted by: fvbcdm | March 20, 2013

Feast of Saint Anastasius (20 Mar 2013)

This past Sunday a couple from Holy Rosary Parish very kindly drove me down to Galveston to visit a couple whom I had known back in the days when I was stationed here in the ’80s and ’90s. We had a wonderful day together, adding another proof that my coming here to retire was a providential event since there are so many fine, friendly, kind people who are, or have been associated with Holy Rosary Parish over the years. The couple who now live in Galveston moved down there some years ago and bought a great old house on Broadway, Galveston’s main thoroughfare, and have restored it very beautifully, despite the damage of Hurricane Ike. Before going to see their home, we had a wonderful meal at a hotel on the beach that every Sunday puts on a buffet spread fit for a king. And in the course of our meal, I—clumsy as I am—managed to knock over a glass of wine, staining the jacket and trousers of our host. And coincidentally, just a few days ago, several of us here in Houston were talking about the connection of humiliations with the virtue of humility. Just when we think we are pretty suave and socially adept, we do something like that and feel like a fool. In one of the Trappist author Thomas Merton’s books, he recalls that when the abbot general of his Order came to visit the monastery in Kentucky, he gave Merton the advice: “Relish humiliations; they are good for the soul.” Well, my soul was given the chance to make a step or two forward yesterday by my humiliation of myself. And I’m sure you, too, have said or done things from time to time that you would LOVE to erase from the record. But, the Trappist abbot would say the same thing to you that he did to Merton: relish humiliations. Be glad that things occasionally happen that prevent you from getting, or remaining, smug, vain, proud, self-satisfied.

 

Jesus says to us, “Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” If even God can be humble, and can recommend that virtue to us, how precious it is in his sight! I’m sorry I stained the clothing of my old friend in Galveston, but glad that I had the opportunity to recognize my clumsiness and awkwardness in talking with my hands and not exercising caution at the table. Do things like that happen to you, too? Then, use them to your advantage! Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

 

Note:  Father Brown composed this message some years ago.

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