Day 22, Nicene Creed, 14th Line
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
I think we get the concept of humility wrong most of the time. We know it means thinking less of ourselves than others, but most of the time, this shows up in us as insecurity rather than true humility. Insecurity can really hold us back when it comes to fulfilling God’s will for our lives. In the Virgin Mary’s example, we see the true difference between humility and insecurity.
Mary, in true humility, says yes to God’s bizarre plan for her life. “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word,” she says. She must have known that most people would not understand, and that there would be all kinds of gossip and rumors about her, even to this day. But she had the courage to be faithful. And I think that’s the difference. Courage. Insecurity is a false sense of humility where we take the lowest position, either because we are too scared, or because we are too proud. True humility, however, is taking the lowest position while completely and courageously trusting God’s plan for our lives.
Blessed Mother Teresa once said, “If you are humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.” Mary knew she was our Lord’s servant, and our Lord’s mother. She had the courage to be both, and doing so, showed us all how to be greatly humble.
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This reflection is a part of By Heart: A Lenten Prayer Project.