This season of Advent I have been reading In Conversation with God each day and it has been a wonderful prayer tool. Fernandez speaks often about virtues, especially the virtue of humility. Today, the words which struck me were,"The virtue of humility, so evident in Our Lady's life, is truth, the true recognition of what we are and are worth in the eyes of God and of our fellow men. It is also an emptying of ourselves to allow God to work in us with his grace."
Last week I went to confession, which is an exercise in humility. Before I went I of course examined my conscience and thought about what I am like and what I am worth to God. I realized that I often fall short and so that is why I go to confession. It amazes me that so many people never go to confession. The most common reason I hear is that "I really don't do anything that bad." Well, neither do most of us who go to confession. I certainly am not out in the world murdering, being adulterous, or stealing. But, almost every day, at some point, I realize that I am operating out of my will and am full of myself instead of allowing God to fill me with his grace and work through me.
It is a lack of humility which causes me to sin and I believe it is a lack of humility which causes people to stay away from the sacrament of confession. It is only in humility that I can look at myself, search my soul, examine my conscience and say, "yes, I have sinned and need forgiveness." The grace from the sacrament is so powerful and affirming, such a reminder that by emptying ourselves we make room for God's grace.
And by this grace we come to recognize who we are and how God has given us everything. As we approach the birth of our Savior, let us say in humility and trust, "Come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord."