Tuesday, February 19, 2013 – Sirach 3 – Stubbornness
This book opens with a series of paths we might follow to gain the sort of wisdom that transforms the world: awe of the Lord, self-control, sincerity, patience, faithfulness, respect of elders, humility, and almsgiving. Each of these avenues holds its own form of consolation. Each promises serenity. As we investigate our interior life in our Lenten Journey, we will need this kind of wisdom to sort out what it is we are called to do as builders of God’s kingdom. As we open ourselves to God’s piercing love, we will need this kind of wisdom to fully take in the goodness God has in store for us.
The first portion of this chapter is devoted to the relationship we are to have with our parents. Some of us are painfully aware that not all parenting is good. Some of us are blessed to have lived in families that thrived in the hands of merciful yet just parents. In the later case, we might share the love we have been given with those who lack it. In the former case, we might look for people in our lives who can bring us the kind of sustaining constancy we have lacked growing up. In both cases, God the Father, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Jesus the brother and the consoling Holy Spirit can bring us all that humans in our lives have been incapable of providing.
The second portion of this chapter focuses on the difference in a life lived in pride as contrasted with one lived in humility. It is easy to make the statement that humble hearts are more serene than proud ones. It is difficult to actually live a modest life. Service to God and others and the will to do God’s will rather than our own are keys to success if we are to find any sort of peace at all in our daily living.
Christ’s meekness confounds his enemies. God’s love does not make sense in our secular world. The Holy Spirit abides and consoles even, and especially, through horror and pain. Perhaps this is why we often feel so torn, pushed, and plucked at in our culture. We have forgotten who we are: humble creatures dearly loved by the triune creator, wayward children called home each day by our loving parents.
As we read Sirach today, we can use these images to bring us back to our true hearth where our mother, father and the love they hold between them bind us to them. With care they tend the fire that will protect us from the cold and over which they will prepare our meal. With compassion they will bind up our wounds of the day. With justice they will defend us from all that is evil.
A stubborn heart ends badly; an obstinate heart is full of disquiet. When calamity befalls the proud, there is no healing.
When we are feeling alone, bereft, confused, agitated, hurt or anxious, we will do well to humble ourselves, to put away our stubbornness, and to return to the forgiving love of the creator.
Revised from a reflection first written on March 22, 2010, and posted today as a Favorite.
For interesting insight about stubbornness, click on the image above or go to: http://personalityspirituality.net/articles/the-michael-teachings/chief-features/stubbornness/