Psalm 86 concludes its beautiful reflection with these words: “All good things come from you, oh Lord.” All that God does and gives is good and cannot be otherwise but there is an obstacle for our sight that must be exposed and crushed. St. John Chrysostom exposes it with this sentence: “There is a certain erroneous opinion inborn in mortal man that increases evil doing and lessens good. It is the belief that that whatever comes into our possession in this life we possess it as masters of it; and so when the chance arises we seize these things as ours by special right.”
From the very beginning angels and man sought to “grasp at equality with God” by claiming their talents, their possessions as their own. Our world becomes the site of conflict with the soul in which possessions open up the question: “To whom do all these good talents and possessions belong? Are we the owners of what comes to us or are we the dispensers of these gifts? Now the issue is such that this steward acts in such a way that claims ownership. Take Lucifer as an example: He was given all the light to expose the greatness of God but He chose to possess rather than dispense. Hence the eternal law of God which urges us to give and it shall be given to us.
Gifts given must be given. The rich man who denied recognizing Lazarus under his table became corrupted by his possessions and lost the only true reason for existing: to save one’s soul by loving God and neighbor. What then can conquer this pride of possession which invades the very depths of one’s nature? It is the virtue of humility. Humility, as the saints define it, is the virtue of illumination and with its light we come to deeply realize that we are only dispensers of the miraculous gifts of God. We from Lucifer to the greatest scientist ever are all nothing in the presence of the God. The Father created all through the Word and out of the Holy Ghost. All is created for Love and all is created by Love. There are talents in each of us that God shares with us to share with others.
Study the words and lives of any and every saint and humility is the prize which they seek daily for it is the soil of the soul’s sanctity. Meditate upon it regularly and realize what the great confessor, the Cure of Ars, meant when he said that every sin is avoidable if one only were more humble. So our wicked steward preys upon other souls’ weakness in this pride of possession by reducing the debt (which is total = 100) to a mere fraction. This error may work in the fallen world in which satan operates but it will not lead the souls to the kingdom.
In humility I owe everything to God and the light of humility exposes the joy that comes from relinquishing all possessions, all talents, all claims to glory and saying very clearly: “Thanks and praise to the God of all creation Who has loved me so much as to share with me the gift of faith, hope, and charity.” From Him I live and move and have my very being and I wish to return it all 100% to Him in imitation of the humblest of us all, Our Blessed Mother. God bless you all with the virtue of humility.
In the hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Fr. Richard Voigt