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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Doing a Humble

I think we are back to normal. Sister St. Aloysius is back at her post. Sister Nicholas went wherever she went. I suppose we'll get a postcard. My understanding is that she moves around a lot because, frankly, no one can stand to have her around for too very long without losing their minds.

One afternoon it occurred to me that there had not been one moment of silence from her since that day had begun just before 5 am. When she wasn't talking, she was making some other sort of sound: hooting, blowing, humming, singing, talking to herself, talking to me, talking to Sister Mary Fiacre, talking to God, talking to Jesus, talking to Teddy, talking to Mary, hooting, blowing, humming...

I looked up at the clock and wondered if there would be five minutes of no sound.


There wasn't.

I think Purgatory should be about empty now. Plenty of room for Bo Diddley.
Have you ever thought about "Sr. Mary Martha's guide to the Saints" Children's Edition? I confess I sometime check your store description on a saint before I check "Lives of the Saints".
Do you have any suggestions on Humility? How to grow it in our own soul?

I've been thinking about doing a series of pamphlets, but I'm exercising my humility. Or my laziness. I'm not sure which.

There are a lot of people who don't believe that humility is a virtue at all, so bless you for wanting a little. There are people who don't believe you should be a door mat.

I suppose you shouldn't be a doormat. But I think you should maybe practice doormatness. Let me explain, as one doormat to another.

The idea that we shouldn't be a doormat comes from the notion that it's a very bad thing to let people walk all over you. This implies that other people boss you around against your will and you let them. They tell you what to do and you do it, whether you want to or not. You are afraid to say no.

And that would be bad. What if they are telling you to sin, for example? Very bad.


What if your job is to be a doormat? An actual doormat is a necessity if you want to keep your kitchen floor and your rug clean. It's useful. Thank goodness there is such a thing as a doormat that will do nothing but lie in front of the door so that people can wipe their feet. Hooray for doormats. Pure devotion.

You can choose to be that mat at the door without being a doormat.

Have I lost you?

Okay. I'll be more practical. How to grow humility in your soul 101:

1. Shut up. Seriously (and ironically coming from a blogger), no one needs to know what you think most of the time. There are times when it is very important that your voice be heard, but frankly, those times are very and far between. Want to practice some humility? Stop talking for a day. Or a week.

2. Forget about what you deserve. You don't deserve anything.

3. Understand that you deserve everything. Including cancer and not ever finding a parking space ever again.

4. Think about making other people comfortable.

5. Forget about your own comfort.

6. Get enough sleep or you'll be too cranky to keep practicing.

7. If you haven't memorized the Corporal Works of Mercy, do it now. I'll wait.

8. Try making up a song to help you memorize them.

I should stop making a list now. It's too much to remember. Maybe try one thing each day and focus on that. OH! one more!

9. Be grateful. Count your blessings.

And remember that you don't deserve any of them.

That should get you started.


RadioPie said...

Wonderful List! (especially the part about shutting up - made me laugh!)
I shall have to embroider those onto a pillow case.

Anonymous said...

I pray the litany of humility often in my own meditations:


Helps keep me on the right track.


Laura The Crazy Mama said...

Cool! I already do all those things, all the time!
I must be sooooo humble...Whoops.

Anonymous said...

Here's one of my favorite whines: "Why does God keep giving me so many lessons in humility? Why not somebody else once in awhile?"

Hmmm. . . . . .

Anonymous said...

I often try to think in terms of a hundred years from now. What am I doing that will still matter at that point? Not much.

It really helps take the sting out of the little day-to-day annoyances. It's incredible how petty we can be when others are facing upheaval, hunger, disease, and death.

A quote comes to mind--unfortunately, I can't remember the attribution, and can only paraphrase-- "You wouldn't worry so much about what people thought of you if you knew how rarely they did so."

ReginaCoeli said...

Thanks for the straight talk and no-nonsense wit dear Sister. It is just what is needed in this world today. I'm putting your suggestion about shutting up into practice immediately. My friends and family thank you. :-) God Bless You.

Anonymous said...

The best contributions to Life are the ones anonymously made.

I think I'll go out and plant a tree now.

Gretchen said...

I need this badly. I also need to get back on track praying the litany of humility.

Thank you for a great post!

Lola said...

Awesome Sister!

Thanks so much. This has been one of those topics the saints seem so good at.

God Bless you and your blog.

Journey of Truth said...

Didn't Martin Luther say that "going to plant a tree"????

Monica said...

I prayed for humility once and my skirt fell off in public.

I also thought up the 'shut up' rule on my own, and amazingly enough, nobody asked me what I thought about anything! Boy was that a lesson for me.

Seamus said...

Sister, by any chance is this gorgeous woman in the black hat and glasses pictured above single and Catholic?

Rosemary Bogdan said...

What a great list. I've been working on the shut up one. I think God may be wanting me to shut up a little more during m prayer times too. Great post.

RoxieRocket said...

Sister Mary Martha,
I love your blog, and expecially this one in particular. Since it's been posted I always have it in the back of my mind. Humility is hard to remember when you're in the entertainment buisness, but I do the best I can. Thank you.