UP Catholic 10 07 2016 E Edition Page 6

6 October 7, 2016 THE U.P. CATHOLIC COMMENTARY www.upcatholic.org VENISON & BEAR PROCESSING Custom Smoking Quality Homemade Sausage "The Buck Stops here!" We also specialize in Farm Animal processing. 1370 Commercial Ave Crystal Falls, MI 49920 Pat & Chris Sommers (906) 874-6032 Growing to serve you in 5 locations! MANISTIQUE, MI 735 E. Lakeshore Dr. Food for Le$$ 200 Deer Street MARINETTE, WI 1507 Cleveland Ave. 2301 Roosevelt Rd. MENOMINEE, MI M & M Plaza O ne question that many have been ask- ing recently is "What is humility?" We recognize humility when we see it. St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta was humble; St. Pope John Paul II was humble, but what is humility? Great question. Before answering the question, though, I would like ask another question: Have you ever told yourself that you hated yourself when you've screwed things up? I'm not the only one who has done that, am I? Of course not. What does that kind of behavior imply, though? When we congratulate ourselves when everything goes right. That's pride. This means that the real cause of self-loathing and self-ha- tred isn't what others say or do to us, but our own pride. Not too long after the time of our Lord and the Apostles, there lived a philosopher by the name of Epictetus who many believe was a clos- et-Christian. I absolutely love what he has to say on this question of humility: "If anyone tells you that a certain person speaks ill of you, do not make excuses about what is said of you but answer, 'He was ignorant of my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these alone.'" From this it can be seen that humility is the key to authentic love of self. When we're humble, we realize that we are a mixed bag of strengths and weakness, loved by God and ever in need of His mercy. That's who each one of us is. God loves us for who we are and is calling us to be the best-version-of-ourselves by His grace and mercy. So, when we're criticized or corrected we don't need to take it so personally. We might deserve the criticism or not, but even if we don't - as Epictetus said - we do deserve correction on other faults. Just think how your husband or wife would respond if you responded to correction or crit- icism with a sincere, "Thank you. I am working on striving to be the best-version-of-myself and I didn't realize that's a weakness I needed to work on. I could have struggled with that for years if you hadn't pointed it out to me. You certainly love me!" OK, you can stop laughing now! The great C. S. Lewis wrote in "Mere Chris- tianity," "True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less." Now if that's who each of us is, we can humble our- selves and look for wisdom from everyone, because as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Every- one we meet is better than us in some respects." Winston Churchill famously said, "The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes." In the "Joy in Loving: A Guide to Daily Living," St. Mother Teresa teaches us some ways to practice humility: "Speak as little as possible of one's self; mind your own business; accept contradictions and correction cheerfully; pass over the mistakes of others, ac- cept insults and injuries; accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked; be kind and gentle even under provocation; never to stand on one's dignity; and choose always the hardest." Remember: true humility is not thinking less of yourself; it's thinking of yourself less and thinking more about God and our neighbor. May God be praised. Editor's note: This question and answer column is written for The U.P. Catholic by four priests of the diocese. If you have a question you'd like to be considered for an upcoming issue, please submit it by email to news@dio- ceseofmarquette.org or by U.S. Mail to Ask our Priests, c/o The U.P. Catholic, 1004 Harbor Hills Dr., Marquette MI 49855. Ask our priests: What is humility? WHEN WE'RE HUMBLE, WE REALIZE THAT WE ARE A MIXED BAG OF STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESS, LOVED BY GOD AND EVER IN NEED OF HIS MERCY. THAT'S WHO EACH ONE OF US IS.

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