- Humility is radical honesty about ourselves
- Grace under pressure is the real spiritual treasure
- Union and communion with God enhances our solidarity and connectivity with our fellow human beings
- Humility is the direct channel to God; in it, one can quite accurately glimpse the divine ebbs and flows
The birth of Christ is not an abstract event. It is a most historical event. It embraces the totality of universal history. God took flesh in order to relate to us personally and redeem us specifically. Incarnation is the reincarnation of hope. Incarnation is the divine manifestation, the divine indwelling in our midst, par excellence. The intelligibility of the incarnation is infinite.
The mystery of incarnation is the unfathomable mystery entering into human history in a decisive and definitive manner; that is, the mystery began to indwell in history. Incarnation has radically altered our understanding of time and space. With the coming of Christ, time has become teleological, eschatological and Christological. Time and space has been Christified and deified in order to facilitate the sanctification of humanity.
Incarnation transforms the whole universe into admiration, adoration, aspiration and appreciation. Incarnation has hemmed us in, engulfed us, embraced us and enveloped us permanently. Incarnation is our real protective skin. Incarnation has liberated us, redeemed us, without the help of reincarnation.
Light and Darkness
It is the light of incarnated light that enlightens everyone. In that light, we see the evil deeds of human beings. Evil deeds are exposed not in order to condemn them, but in order to redeem them. Real exposé is always redemptive and liberating. Unexposed deeds are unredeemed and unfulfilled deeds. Wicked deeds are the seeds of redemption and temptations are means for purification and sanctification.
Light exposes the nakedness, wickedness, and crookedness of darkness in history. Light is not afraid of darkness. Darkness hesitates, wavers, doubts itself in the presence of light. Light is the delight of those who live in darkness and have come to realise it.
Each person has to grapple with the myriad meanings of incarnation. It offers infinite possibilities for living our lives joyfully, starting everything anew and reorienting our perspectives.
Those who are still trapped in darkness can now come out of it. The true light has been eagerly waiting for them. To refuse the light is to refuse life. To embrace the light is to embrace life in its fullness. Our heart’s deepest desire is to search for the true light and only by searching for it, can we really find it.
"Humility is letting go of all our false securities, bloated and swollen-egos and stripping off of all titles, prestige and unnecessary and unhealthy attachment to them"
Our sinful acts imprison us in dark devilish dungeons. Only when we begin to recognise, realise and repent our miserable situation, we again begin to restlessly long and yearn for the true light.
Light’s eternal search for us has prompted our desiring for it. Searching for light helps the light to find us out. Even our search for light is grace from light. All is pure grace. Nothing lies beyond grace. The one who finds light has taken full advantage of grace.
All is from Him to all. Everything is from Him to everybody. Nothing is received by us, had he granted nothing. Nothing can be given us, had He given us nothing.
Once in light, all our acts become acts of love. In His light, the fire in our heart burns all the more. Incarnation is the indwelling of light permanently in our midst and hence our daily lives must reflect the delight of that light.
Indeed, the true light that enlightens every man and woman is coming into the world and we must not forget the fact that he had demanded that we become the light of the world.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in fdheaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).
Humility, Titles and False Securities
Incarnation is a fruit of Divine humility. The perspective of humility is the perspective of eternity. Humility is letting go of all our false securities, bloated and swollen-egos and stripping off of all titles, prestige and unnecessary and unhealthy attachment to them. Humility is daily death to our false-selves. Until we practice humility, like Christ, we cannot begin to live properly.
It is to serve without the comfort and security of an office or a privilege position in society. True individual identity is beyond one’s worldly titles. We find our true identity in intimacy with God. Then God penetrates straightly through our cloaks, uniforms and gowns into our innermost soul and heart.
Christ is beyond all titles and offices and therefore supremely free in order to serve us. A server of humanity is the real deserver of Christ. A real disciple of Christ is the real celebrator of Christmas.
To be human is to be humble. As Saint Theresa of Avila says “humility is truth”. The one who lives humbly lives nimbly. Nothing in life is exaggerated or minimized. Truth about ourselves, our own lives, our own situations makes us radically free. Humility is radical honesty about ourselves. In humility, one is in touch with true-self, real-self, original-self, authentic-self and divine-self. Interiorly free life is life-giving all the time. Life lived in truth is truly life giving.
A free life flows and flares forth from deep within, from the deepest kernel and core of one’s heart, one’s whole existence.
Truth, freedom, love and humility are not isolated and separate virtues but different facets of the same diamond. Life lived in freedom is very pleasing to God indeed and such a person is doing justice to his or her God given life. The splendour of one’s humility is the fragrance of one’s humanity. One’s humanity radiates one’s humility brilliantly.
Insults, Freedom and Love
The true measure of freedom is our intrinsic capacity to love people who hate us, insult us, ridicule us, slander us, make fun out of us, spread rumours about us, gossip about us,abhor us, back-bite us, put us down and downgrade us. To love them, bless them, pray for them, serve them, and help them without expecting anything in return is the very depth of one’s freedom and a manifestation of one’s humility.
The more they abhor us, all the more we must love them. Those who hate us deeply offer us an evangelical opportunity. On behalf of them all, we must witness to the gospel values ardently. The gospel is the only spell that sets us free, liberates us and heals us. Christmas is the incarnation of that gospel in the midst of us.
Every hater, vicious gossip, slanderer, pervert, character-assassin and back-biter offers us a rare opportunity for radical spiritual growth. Grace under pressure is the real spiritual treasure. Divine grace is constantly facilitated in and through them. Slanderous tongue is a spiritually prosperous opportunity. Every situation contains an evangelical dimension.
Insults are means for purification, ridicules are means for sanctification. The greater the challenges and hardships in life are, the better for one’s spirituals journey. Great losses are grand lessons.
God shatters us in order to make us glitter. All that glitters now has once been shattered.
Even in the midst of confusion, spiritual dryness, emptiness, aimlessness, frustrations, disappointments, God is ever active in our lives and we need a little patience and perspective to find God in them. Only where God seems to be absent, can God be truly found and glimpsed. His apparent absent is his active presence. By being absent, He truly becomes present in our midst. God is very Zen in that sense. God is the greatest and profoundest Zen master. At each second of our lives, God’s active presence is very Zen. God Zens in order to make sense.
Living Gracefully Under Pressure
Difficulties are opportunities. Crises are guises for spiritual transformation. Union and communion with God enhances our solidarity and connectivity with our fellow human beings. God is the ultimate foundation of our common humanity. God is the Gordian knot that ties us together. To cut that knot is to be scattered, shattered and littered as a human family. Union and communion with God is the unity and universality of us all.
The more we possess material things, the more anxious and restless we become. The more we have, the emptier we become. But there is a permanent solution to this emptiness, that is, one should get one’s true identity from God; God is the true identity-giver. The one who clings to God, the one who cleaves to God, the one who clicks to God and the one who connects to God needs nothing else. The one who clings to God sings forever and the one who clings to God never slings. We cleave to God in order never to leave. God is everything one can have in this life and the life next and without God one is absolutely nothing.
God indwells amongst the humble. God takes such delight and deep pleasure in them. One of the ways to remain humble is to genuinely live with and care for the poorest of the poor. God dwells amongst the slum dwellers.
Part of holiness is our daily and increasing capacity to accept and expect bigger challenges and to do gracefully what we habitually do not like to do.
Authentic Humanity and God
Humility is another name for authentic humanity. One cannot cultivate one’s deep humanity, one’s humaneness without cultivating humility. Humility is the direct channel to God; in it, one can quite accurately glimpse the divine ebbs and flows. In proportion to our humility, the divine grace ebbs away or overflows. Humble people are truly nimble people.
The humble person is the freest person. The quality of one’s love is in direct proportion to one’s humility. Infinite humility gives birth to infinite love. Jesus was the greatest lover ever for he was the humblest forever. Out of humility, he became one of us in order to elevate us. In other words, God became human in order to make us Divine.
Our capacity to love is in proportion to our humility. The proud people are not capable of loving truly. Pride and love are diametrically opposed to each other. Pride aborts our innermost, intrinsic, inherent and interior capacity to love. Proud people live intimately frozen and absolutely boring lives.
What is deeply deep within us radiates without in all directions. It envelops, permeates, and embraces the whole outer persona and everything else around about us. What is deep within surrounds what is without. What is incarnated radiates universally. Christmas is the spread of that fragrance everywhere.