“Yes, I’m Humble, Well, Not Anymore”

The virtue of humility is a difficult virtue to acquire.  It strikes at the heart of our normal tendencies.  We want to be loved, bragged on, talked about, and admired.  Those all seems like positive happenings, so what’s so bad about them?  Nothing is wrong with them, from a human perspective.  But, humility is a heavenly quality, the true version of which is not found very often among us earth dwellers.

Efforts to become ‘humble’ can lead us to become less humble.  If we try to be humble by not bragging on ourselves, it can lead us to urge & hint for others to brag on us, compounding the problem.  Hinting & leading others to brag on us makes the desire actually grow by enlisting the aid of others to feed our egos for us.  Hearing others say what we want to hear about ourselves can affirm us to continue our negative ways.

Having said all that there are some positive steps we can take that will help us in our attempts to practice the virtue of humility”

1 – Speak as little of ourselves as possible

2 – Mind our own business

3 – Stop trying to manage the affairs of others

4 – Restrain our curiosity about people’s motivation

5 – Accept corrections cheerfully

6 – Stop looking for mistakes in others

7 – Accept insults from others without trying to explain

8 – Accept being slighted, forgotten, and even disliked

9 – Be kind and gentle even under provocation

10- Yield in discussions even thought one is right

Humility is the quality where we accept ourselves as we are and stop trying to present ourselves as better than we are.

God sees us as we are, and loves us as we are, warts and all.

Taken from homily by Father Jim & others

Erratic Behavior Scatters The Flock

Years ago I worked for a company that was plagued by a large number of pigeons roosting overhead in the manufacturing buildings.  Employees were treated to daily bombings of pigeon poop and health concerns were becoming a genuine concern.

A number of expensive remedies to run off the pigeons were tried to no avail.  One reason no remedy worked was there was a drive-in movie next door so the pigeons were well fed by the spilled popcorn on the ground and saw no reason not eat their fill, then roost in company buildings roofing structures.

After four or five methods failed including shooting at them with pellet rifles, a man came to the door of the company volunteering his services.  He offered a cost well below any previous method, he claimed he could make the pigeons leave in 30 days, and added the caveat that the company did not have to pay anything if he was unsuccessful.  The company quickly agreed.

The man dressed in blue-jean coveralls came to the company buildings every day for 29 days, climbed up into the buildings’ roof structure, and fed the pigeons cracked corn at set locations.  The pigeons quickly learned where the food was and faithfully overindulged on the corn everyday.

On the 30th day the man showed up and fed them cracked corn soaked in a hallucinogen.  Thirty minutes later the pigeons were doing aerial acrobatics.  They flew into the ground, into building walls, and into one another.  They tried to land on what looked to them like wires in the air until they dropped from exhaustion.

By the next day there was not a pigeon in sight on the business’ property.  Even those who had not eaten the corn and therefore not affected by the hallucinogen had departed for parts unknown.  They could be seen next door at the drive-in movie still eating spilled popcorn, but not one ventured over to the company property.

A month later, still no pigeons, and the man returned for his payment which was gladly paid including a bonus.  As he was leaving, the company president stopped him to ask the obvious question, why did that method work so well.  The man replied, “Erratic behavior scatters the flock”.  With a smile, he added, “Erratic behavior scatters people as well”.

I have often replayed those words in my head when I noticed people behave in an extreme manner and felt myself wanting to avoid them, or “scatter away from them”.

The good news of the Gospel needs to be shared in a believable way, calmly, and peacefully.  Wild-eyed erratic behavior and rhetoric does little to attract a respectful hearing from others.  Someone said that life is a bell curve, with the large number of people living in the middle of the curve, and a few activist populating either end of the curve.

God’s message of love for all people is an efficacious message which brings life to those who hear it.  Let us strive to present it in a way that does not scare others, but assures them that He is there for them, including through us.