Joe De Matteo

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On Humility


This is a copy of an email message sent to Joe De Matteo’s Bible study group.


  In our studies of Genesis we find ourselves reading about how, once again, the Israelites are making the wrong decisions, and, because of this, they are having a hard time.  God still loves them, he is still calling to them, but he has given them freewill, and allows them to go on, as they will.

    Last time we met, it was brought up that some of the main characters were pragmatists; the end result, their goal, being the most important thing to them, and the fastest way to it was the way they want to go.

Today's reading (September 2, 2007) is about humility, and, according to St Ignatius of Loyola (founder of the Jesuits), this teaching of Jesus on humility has something to do with pragmatism, often resulting in the feeling that the end justifies the means.

St. Ignatius:

“This first kind of the kind that is necessary for my eternal salvation, and consists in subjecting and humbling myself, as far as I can, so that I obey the law of God our Lord in everything; so much so that even if I were made the lord of all created things in this world, or even if my own life on this earth were at stake, I would not deliberately set about breaking any law, whether divine or human, that obliges me under the pain of mortal sin.

This is the thing that caused all the people that we’ve met in Genesis (as well as us today) to have trouble.  They made decisions, they set goals, and they worked toward those goals.  When those goals became hard to attain, they did everything that they could: deceat, manipulation, murder; they broke any law; but mostly they put their faith in God and their pursuit of Him on the back burner. 

The problem is at the very beginning, as I see it, they (and maybe we, too) were not doing what God wanted, they were doing what they conjured up, and then compounded this mistake by breaking God's laws to accomplish it.

It is not about us, it is about God.  What God wants us to do.  We, each of us, has said this during the time we’ve been together.

We search for a better relationship with God, God must be our goal: giving ourselves completely to God and obeying Him. 

The end justifies the means, implies that anything goes; you will do anything, break any law, push anyone aside, disobey God; break faith with Him.  This is immoral. 

Furthermore, it is exactly what God does not want us to do. 

To the questions of life God is the answer. 

He created us with freewill and He made us in His image, therefore, we have the power to be gods here on earth, to do wondrous things in this world, but that is not what He want's of us. He wants us to decide to attain HIM.  He wants us to use our freewill and decide to give ourselves to Him completely, and, as Mother Teresa wrote, “To possess God, we must allow Him to possess our souls… I for God, and God for me.”

The things we want to do, even if they are ministries, the things that we have decided to do out of love for God must take a back seat to God’s will.  He wants us to humbly go to Him and give our complete selves to Him.

How many times have I heard that little mantra, “let go, let God.? 

We want to build a shed, there aren’t enough priests, you can add to this list, I’m sure.  Well, maybe the answer is for us to give ourselves completely to God, beg Him to take our soul, take control of our life, and to love us.  Then pray about these things that we want to fix for His sake.  In Psalm 23, “He leads me down the right path for the sake of His name.”

I think that I would love for our Bible Study group to go before the Eucharist and pray that God lead us down the right path for the sake of His name.

by Joe De Matteo

Joseph De Matteo

Joseph De Matteo


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