THIRTIETH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR OF LUKE
23rd October 2016
Last week we pondered the virtue of perseverance in prayer; this week is about humility in prayer, illustrated by the parable of two contrasting characters praying in the Temple. One of the intercessions used at Evening Prayer paraphrases the first beatitude as “Blessed are those who know their need of God”. This attitude underlies the virtue of humility. The publican/tax collector was well aware of his need of God. In the eyes of the Pharisee he was a despised and unworthy member of society. He had nothing to offer God which could be construed as a worthy offering. And he knew it. He put himself totally at the mercy of God.
The Pharisee could not understand how such a sinner as the publican could dare defile the Temple, let alone pray. By contrast, his own prayer was directed, not to God, but “to himself”, and was full of himself – his achievements and qualifications as an expert pray-er. One wonders how he was going to answer himself! He was a hard act for God to follow.
We can smile at the caricature of the Pharisee, but how God-centred is our own prayer? How can we be “at rights with God” without undue anxiety about our own spiritual temperature? Can we trust God completely when we pray without taking his mercy for granted? Humility is notoriously elusive of definition, but I find some lines of the poet William Wordsworth helpful in describing its effects. He says of a certain old man that “He is by nature led to peace so perfect that the young behold with envy what the old man hardly feels”. Humility is never self-conscious. It is when God is everything to us, and nothing else matters.
Use this website to learn a little about John Glynn and his recordings and to obtain his recordings
and his songbook.. 10% of every CD and Songbook sold goes to CAFOD. So far, we have donated
£4,672.35 to CAFOD.
CAFOD is the official overseas aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and is
part of the Caritas International Federation. Registered Charity No. 285766
ALL CONTENT AND IMAGES COPYRIGHT 1990-2009 AQUILA MUSIC TRUST [UNLESS
NO COPYING BY ANY MEANS WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION
WEBSITE DESIGN COPYRIGHT 2010 1STOPWEBS