Francis lived a happy life as a Duke with his eight children and his wife. It was said that although he was poweful,he was devout and a good man of God. This happy life ended when his beloved wife died. And that’s when he decided to become a Jesuit priest. His Superior tested him by treating him in exactly the opposite way he had been used to being treated as a duke. He had to help cook, carry wood, sweep the kitchen and serve food to the other priest–on his knees, begging them to forgive him for being so clumsy.
Yet he never complained. In fact, the only time he became angry was when anyone treated him with respect as if he was still a Duke. Once a doctor who had to take care of a painful wound Francis had gotten said to him: “I am afraid, my lord, that I have to hurt your grace.” The saint answered that he would not hurt him more than then by calling him “my lord” and “your grace.”He was able to accomplish wonderful works for God’s glory as he preached everywhere and advised many important people. Under his guidance, the Jesuits grew to be a very great help to the Church in many lands. But, through all such success, he remained completely humble.
Humility means emptying all of our selves out–and letting God fill it. it means not esteeming ourselves, having no desire to esteem ourselves and having no desire to be esteemed by others.
When we are truly humble it becomes much easier to do and be what God wants because you have no attachment to yourself or your own wants.
Francis didn’t run from his sufferings. He took it on and found the best way to serve God. He gave up the life that would be easiest, give him the most esteem and give him the most comfort. He willing suffered, you might say, to find the best way to do God’s will.
Me-I’m just running from pain in order to find the most comfort. Humility? Not so much.
But suffering teaches us that quick. When your stripped down to your basics, to survival mode, well, yes, you learn to be humble.
You learn not to presume that even the good things you have going for you are going to stay. You learn that your plans don’t necessarily matter. You learn to serve God through the suffering. If your plan for life falls through, what’s left? You might as well turn your attention (finally!) to what He wants. Yes, in suffering, now we know we don’t matter. But He does. He is all that matters because He and His plan, is the only thing that can make sense out of this mess.
What if we were so humble that doing the will of God was all that mattered?