We had a great meeting the other night. We discussed Step 7 and the problem of Humility. We all pretty much agreed that if we say we are humble then we might be missing the point of the entire step.
The problem as I see it is learning how to discuss the need for humility with the proper disposition. In other words, I need to strive for humility without demanding that everyone notice I am striving for humility. It is one of those attributes by which the very need and the acquisition of can lead to pride.
I think, and I may be wrong, that humility is recognizing my shortcomings and need for correction, grace and absolution as well as being willing to note the state in which I SHOULD be living. It is being aware of who and what I am and how often I fall short while never losing my willingness to keep my eye on the prize. I have to be willing to walk towards perfection, even though I know I won't attain it.
What some people might call setting myself up for failure, I call being a Catholic.
Catholic teaching reminds us that we are saved not by our works but by God's Grace, which is a gift. Holy Mother Church also reminds us that unless we are willing to cooperate with that Grace by taking actions, we do not have a living faith. Faith, we are taught by the Apostles, without works is dead. We have got to be willing to DO things that show the world we are CATHOLIC, not just good people. We must be willing to perform the corporal works of mercy AND be a Liturgical, Sacramental People.
The challenge, of course, is that being able to receive the Sacraments means being in a state of grace. We are not in a state of grace if we are living sinful lives. We are almost always faced with temptation, big or small, and we will hardly get through the day without committing small infractions against The Holy Spirit.
So there we are: called to live lives of grace and action, willing to get up each day and tell God to do with us as He would while living in a world that tells us most of the stuff HE would have us do and be is boring, outdated, unrealistic or even hateful.
I know that I am not the best Leslie I can be. I also know that I am willing to keep trying to be the best Leslie I can be - and that I will not ever be able to attain perfection until Jesus welcomes me into His Kingdom...and I have no guarantee of that happening, unless I am willing to keep my faith alive.
Because Faith, without works is DEAD.