By Fr. Roy Cimagala
Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE)
Talamban, Cebu City
Email: [email protected]
IF there’s one precious lesson we can learn from our devotion to the Sto. Nino, it should be about how we should be humble even if we know we have the greatest dignity among God’s creatures. Such humility would truly liken us to Christ who is our everything in life, since he is the very pattern of our humanity and the savior of our damaged humanity.
Christ illustrates this point as he presents himself as a child dressed as a king in the image of the Sto. Nino. Yes, Christ’s humility would prevent us from getting spoiled by all the wonderful endowments God has given us—his grace, our intelligence and will, our freedom, our talents, etc. When we are truly humble, we would never feel entitled. In fact, what we would rather be most conscious about would be our duty to serve.
More than that, when we have the humility of Christ, we would be willing to suffer and die for the sins of men in general. We would be willing, like Christ, to be the expiation for sins.
Such humility would always help us realize that we need to be in constant conversation with Christ, referring everything to him, asking him for the answers to our questions, clarifications to the many issues we have to grapple with in life, strength for our weaknesses and temptations, contrition and conversion after our falls, etc.
We should do everything to keep this state of humility alive in us all the time. We know very well how easy it is for us to take this virtue for granted. We have to realize more vividly how vulnerable we are to the ways of pride, arrogance, self-centeredness, desire for power and domination, etc. Humility keeps us guarded against these dangers.
And when we happen to receive praises and honors from others because of our good works, let’s keep our feet firmly stuck to the ground, not allowing ourselves to be intoxicated. We should not allow these praises and honors to go to our heads and cast some evil spell over us.
Instead, we have to thank God profusely. All praises and honors belong to him. What we should realize also is that those praises and honors given to us are actually a sign that we have to give ourselves more to God and to others. Our sense of duty and responsibility should become sharper.
Those praises and honors that we receive are actually some kind of a test to see if we would still remain with God or we would now choose ourselves as our own god. We have to know how to pass that test, and so we need to really grow and deepen our humility.
We should never feel sad because we have chosen to deny ourselves to grow in humility amid the praises and honors. That self-denial is actually a big opening for the grace of God to come to us. That realization should make us very happy with a joy that would keep us simple, not proud and complicated.
We have to learn not to get spoiled by whatever praises and honors would come our way. Instead, let these honors trigger the urge to deepen our humility, to enrich our gratitude to God and to others, and to sharpen our sense of duty and responsibility.
What a beautiful world we would contribute to build up if we remain humble amid great honors!