Wednesday, October 21, 2009

THE PERFECT HOST: not your party

A few weeks ago, I did a post entitled, Is God Edible? about receiving the host of Holy Communion and how God is whole and we cannot separate His soul from His body, so when we receive Him, believe it or believe it, He is all there, Body Blood and Soul. He can only be whole, He enters us Whole, we receive Him Whole.

Today I have learned from a new book I love, called Onward Catholic Soldier by John LaBriola, introduced to me on Abundant Life  EWTN, another way of gaining strength from the meaning of H-O-S-T.  I am kind of a snob, about acronyms because they can be soooo corny, but sometimes the corny-er, the more easily remembered. His idea:

H is for Humility, 
O is for Obedience, 
S is for Surrender, 
T is for Trust.

Let's start with H for,  hummm..mility.
Ok., why is it that whenever someones says humble, I picture a bent over old woman, complete with shaking cane, approaching very feebly, the whole picture washed in gray and all in slo- mo.  But really, the only thing to say about the meaning of the word humble is this:  it is simply the truth about you...and me, us human kind.  Actually, it is not about us at all.  It is not like my small picture but the big one. It is about Him.  It is really plain.  He is Creator-you and me are creatures. End of conversation.

Remembering this is what is not so simple. We are not the First Cause, not the second, third, or..any cause. We are effect.  Yes, we have bodies, intelligence, emotions, choice, but we did not create any of this: it was created as part of us creatures.  Creatures can be natural and supernatural (i.e. angels), have free will, creatures can cause things to happen by manipulating what has been created as raw materials, but we cannot bring life out of nothing.  We are created beings, near the top of the rung of creation, but still part of creation. We can even create the illusion, pretend, that we can be truly independent..but that is just that, an illusion.  Did we make

Humility is  truth, truth about who we are and who we are not: God.  God did put a limit on our intelligence, but not on our stupidity. We are like Him in many ways in our intelligence because that is how He made us, but we are not like him in that we can be stupid and duped.We are allowed to think any stupid thing we want like, humility is a choice. And as a group, we can agree on stupid, untested ideas about ourselves and our world, and God, and we often do. Agreement somehow, if communicated in a seemingly intelligent way, may appear really true. 

Humility, related to the word human comes from the root humus,  not the kind we put in a Greek wrap or a bagel.The definition of humus is the organic matter that results from the decay of plants and animal matter, the bottom of the barrel, the end product of composting. We are made as good, rich, blackened soil, earth-dirt: something to work with. We are raw material that can be used to give life to what is already living. Without God, there would be no life in us.  That is the pure and humble truth about who we are..until we start to feed on the Host. At best, we are sticky lovable parasites leaching Life from our beloved Creator Who gives Himself to us in this foolish way.

Of this possible union, we can be proud. because of Him, we have the opportunity for Life.  But we must always be living the basic fact of all facts: we did not bring any of this about - we are the receivers, the beloved, the female part, electrically speaking.

It is a start. We are only at h. H is where we first get to know the Host, kind of like in Proverbs, when it says  fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Thus H for humility is the first letter of the acronym. HOST.  This h is what will fill us with spiritual strength, quite the polar opposite from the image of the poor weak old woman with a walking stick.  It is the truth about us and the truth will give us the strength to be truly free..from the delusions about who we are and what our life is all about.

While we have been sold a bill of bads about life being about ego, pride, judgment, and desires-all our stuff, we have bought into untruth about who we really are. We have no ownership of any of these false realilties.  We are humans, made from humus, and it would be in our best act accordingly. 

How do we do that:: an ugly word, God ..and to others.  Well, we are submitted to God, like it or not, but to submit willingly and joyfully, with a kind of spiritual pleasure, Your Majesty! He says of Himself, that he will inhabit the humble heart. This makes sense to me, as He can only live where truth lives. He cannot cohabitate with falsehood, like oil will not mix at all, not one bit, with water.  

You see, being humble is just being smart or more accurately, not being stupid. If we want to be where God is, we cannot be there without being in the atmosphere of what is true..what is real. First things first. Pride does not fit at all, like the ugly sister's shoes did not fit Cinderella, not for a minute. Ouch!

On a recent car ride, giggles coming for the pair of carseats,  with perfectly matching packs of chicken nuggets lined with half eaten fries, I mentioned that it was smart to eat the nuggets before the fries  absolutely before opening the marvelous toy hidden in the bags. Just after I complimented her adorable sister for being smart, my other adorable granddaugher, thoughtfully asked me, Nonni, what does smart really mean? Knowing the diligence of this conscientious child, I knew I had better ponder a bit before answering.  I said, thinking ahead to the inevitable teen years to come, smart means making the best choice.  She looked relieved, assuring herself and me that she, by completing the list of chores her mother had given her stickers for, she had well met the standards of smart for the day, and declared, Then, Nonni,  I am smart today! 

I wish I could be so sure!

Host,most gracious

Until today, I did not see
What is, was.., and will always be  
The truth,.. that it is You that is hosting me,

How could I have been so dense?
To be sucked into such common, yet utter non sense.

Now, at over sixty-two, I finally get a clue
That Who I am,.. is really all about You.