One of the most frustrating things in the spiritual life can be our seeming lack of progress. We pray, we go to Mass, we confess, we read books—and yet we seem to have little to show for it.
St Thomas Aquinas tells us that true devotion consists in a “prompt and complete gift of one’s entire self.” The word devotion indicates a giving, or better, a giving of self. This is not, of course, just any giving of self, but giving with love, with generousity, with delight.
I frequent a certain coffee shop during the week. Just about every time I’m there, I see two older men sitting in adjacent faded red chairs. They both usually have headphones on and are engrossed in a show or movie playing on their laptops. They sit quietly for the most part, laughing in short
I love receiving gifts. I think most people do. My expectations aren’t very high these days, so I was pleasantly surprised with all the gifts I received this past Christmas. Even though it was probably the least I have received at Christmas all my life.
Many of us go through life wearing a mask—that is, we project an image that we want others to see. This image is often developed as a way of hiding our flaws and inadequacies, to create a good impression, to gain acceptance, popularity, appreciation and praise.
It is safe to say that no virtue is ever formed in our souls except by frequent prayer. If you truly desire to be humble, pray every day for this grace, asking God to help you overcome your self-love.