only the humble love themselves
"Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled while he who humbles himself shall be exalted." —Luke 18:14
The Pharisee's prayer was not pleasing to the Lord because he was not humble. One sign of lacking humility is to compare ourselves with others. "The Pharisee with head unbowed prayed in this fashion: 'I give You thanks, O God, that I am not like the rest of men — grasping, crooked, adulterous — or even like this tax collector' " (Lk 18:11).
It is obvious that to put others down to make ourselves look better is a comparison steeped in pride. However, it is also contrary to humility to compare ourselves unfavorably to others. To think that we aren't as good as someone else is not focusing on our God-given uniqueness, is not seeing ourselves the way the Lord wants us to see ourselves, and is not being humble. Humility is not humiliation. "With humility, have self-esteem; prize yourself as you deserve" (Sir 10:27). Humility is to see ourselves as utterly dependent on God and as redeemed, chosen, precious, priestly, and royal (see 1 Pt 2:9). Therefore, neither favorable nor unfavorable comparisons of ourselves with others are in accord with humility.
Throughout the Lenten season and especially in Holy Week, we focus on the Passion and death of Jesus. Our meditation on the crucified Christ must not make us hate ourselves for sharing through our sins in such a despicable crime. Our focus on Christ crucified should fill us with thanksgiving that we are so loved and with awe that we are considered so precious by the Lord.
Humble yourself to love yourself.
Prayer: Father, as I meditate on Your Son's Passion and crucifixion, send the Holy Spirit to teach me the meaning of humility.
Promise: "Let us know, let us strive to know the Lord; as certain as the dawn is His coming, and His judgment shines forth like the light of day!" —Hos 6:3
Praise: Joanna never drew attention to herself, but worked quietly, diligently, valiantly to help a parish work bear more fruit.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Richard Walling, July 18, 2003
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 24, 2003