Daily Reflection
November 3rd, 2001
John Lynch, S.J.
Chaplain, St. Joseph's Hospital
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Romans 11:1-2, 11-12, 25-29
Psalms 94:12-13, 14-15, 17-18
Luke 14:1, 7-11

"For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted."

A well known novice master and missionary gave a retreat to Jesuit Scholastics in St. Louis.  He told us that if we want to become perfect, the fastest and shortest route is the way of gratitude.  It is similar to shooting an arrow toward a target.

Gratitude will keep us honest.  It keeps us humble.  We admit whatever we have has been given us.  We accept the reality of who we are.  Like Popeye, I am who I am.  That is good enough.  It does not make sense to exalt ourselves.  I am grateful to the Lord to be who I am.

The unknown author of The Cloud of Unknowing has a prayer, which I paraphrase, and it has deeply influenced me.  He would ask us to feel in our hearts this prayer. "That which I am, even the way I am, with all my gifts of nature and grace, You have given me, Lord.  And you are all of it.  I offer them back to you to praise you, to help others, and myself."

He goes on to explain that this is what Jesus did.  We recognize it as the Sacrifice of the Mass.  "Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, Almighty Father, for ever and ever."

Awareness of who we are, and grateful for who we are, will keep us humble.  And in the Eucharist we Pray: "May he make us an everlasting gift to you."

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