After many years of believing lies about myself and then playing them on repeat in my mind, constantly saying them to and about myself, I came to a crisis point. I was mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically exhausted and something had to change. Thanks be to God He led me to a humble man who taught me my battle was not against flesh and blood but powers and principalities. (Ephesians 6:12) He showed me the weapons to use and taught me how to use them. The Word of God and daily affirmations were my primary weapons. My daily devotional, Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day of the Liturgical Year and my Lenten reading, Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives, have both been focused on humility this past week, so let’s look at one of my favorite prayers which can then be used as one of our daily affirmations—Jesus Meek and Humble of Heart…make my heart like unto Thine.
Daily Affirmations: Jesus Meek and Humble of Heart
In the scriptures, Matthew 11:29, Jesus calls us to learn of Him because He is meek and humble of heart…AND we will find rest for our souls. Cornelius a Lapide states, “Humility is the secret of peace. There is no rest for the mind, save in humility.”
So if one of our daily affirmation is something along the lines of, “I am peaceful” or “I am at peace,” we may need to take a couple of steps back before that affirmation can be effective in our lives. Not only is humility the secret of peace according to Cornelius a Lapide, Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica states in Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives, “He who is not obedient cannot attain humility.” Wow, there’s some unpacking to do.
And if the above thoughts were not deep and wide enough, here a few quotes from Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day of the Liturgical Year:
“Humility is to charity what the foundation is to a building.”
“Humility is the firm bedrock upon which every Christian should build the edifice of his spiritual life.”
“Humility forms the foundation of charity by emptying the soul of pride, arrogance, disordered love of self and one’s own excellence, and by replacing them with the love of God and our neighbor.”
“Humility deepens the soul’s capacity to receive the fullness of divine gifts.”
“Many souls would like to be humble but few desire humiliation.”
“To be true disciples of Jesus we must humble ourselves as He did.”
Again, wow. There is so much there to be considered. So let’s lay out what we have: obedience, humility, charity and peace. If I were trying to put this together as a puzzle, I would be staring at the box top right now, getting the final product–an image of the competed puzzle in my mind. According to the above quotes and scripture, PEACE is the end result, the final picture; that leaves us with obedience, humility and charity.
I don’t believe charity can exist fully unless a person possess or is at least striving for obedience and humility…so I would place CHARITY right before and next to PEACE. That leaves humility and obedience. So which comes first? Well, according to Elder Thaddeus, humility is a result of obedience…so obedience is the first piece of our puzzle, followed by humility then charity followed by peace. (Speaking of humility, one of the best books on humility is the classic, Humility of Heart.)
Circling back to our prayer…”Jesus meek and humble of heart…make my heart like unto Thine,” begins by pondering the words of our Lord to the Egyptians mentioned in Jeremiah 7, “Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you.”
I’m going to stop here for today and pick this back up later. There is a lot to ponder and meditate already and I’m afraid if I continue, I’ll confuse myself and lose you in the process. I wanted to point out that sometimes, our daily affirmations are not just simply saying a few words and hoping eventually they will bear fruit. In the above example, we need to understand how our words fit into a bigger picture.