MEEKNESS IS WEAKNESS. This seems so obvious
to a secularized, self-sufficient society. After all, what part
could the apparently powerless and insignificant meek play in a
self-centered, self-seeking, self-promoting culture? Of what use are
they, the steadfast and the serene, in a "push-me-forward" world?
MEEKNESS IS WEAKNESS.
(cf. Number 12:3) Yet the rest of the Pentateuch clearly
shows that meek Moses was no pushover. The man who could docilely
take directions and suggestions (even from his father-in-law) was
also the man who could boldly bargain with God, bravely lead his
nation out of slavery and sternly rebuke an apostate people.
MEEKNESS was definitely not weakness in the case of Moses.
It was, rather, a virtue born of Moses' intense experience of God on
Mount Horeb. The encounter with the living God who was revealed in
the burning bush left Moses a marked man, a meek man. The inner
strength which is MEEKNESS enabled Moses not only
to carry out his God-given mission, but also to remain steadfast,
serene and undiscouraged in the face of adversity.
Or, is it? The Sacred Scriptures show us something quite
different. The author of the Book of Numbers relates — with a hint
of familial pride! — that Moses was the meekest man on the face of
Deut. 18:15 His prediction was fulfilled
in a way beyond what anyone could have imagined when the "new
Moses," Jesus Christ, appeared on earth. In the Incarnate Son of
God, MEEKNESS was lifted to divine heights. Jesus
entrusted to His followers a single lesson plan:
Learn from me, for
I am MEEK and humble of heart. Page after page of
the Gospel shows the MEEKNESS of Christ in action —
in the face of contradiction, opposition, adversity, denial,
betrayal, physical torment and mental anguish. This holy
MEEKNESS is so fraught with divine strength that the fiery
Paul of Tarsus could even invoke it when entreating the errant to
repent (cf. 2 Cor. 10:1)
A prophet like me God will raise up for you from among your
kinsmen, Moses declared.
As a faithful student of the Gospel, St. Francis of Assisi
learned well the lesson of holy MEEKNESS. He, too,
had his "burning bush" experience, in the little church of San
Damiano, when Jesus Crucified called him by name: Francis, go repair
my house which, as you see, is falling into ruin.
Franciscan sources tell us that after this, Francis was a changed
man, a meek man. Recalling the love of his Divine Master was enough
to melt the Little Poor Man's heart. It also tempered his naturally
fiery temper, calmed his ardent passions, and curbed and shaped his
spontaneous character. In Francis, the second Beatitude became a
living reality: Blessed are the MEEK, for they
shell possess the land! Through holy MEEKNESS, the
Little Poor Man came to possess the land" of his own humanity. His
little "acre" of heart and soul became pliable, porous, patient
and fruitful. The energies which MEEKNESS held in
check were channeled into love, service and surrender.
Col, 3:12 So the saints
and mystics did not hesitate to ask the Lord, directly and
Insistently, for His help.
May Thy love make me mild and MEEK! sang the 14th century
anchorite, Richard Rolle. It
a refrain St. Francis would urge us to repeat as we seek to reap the
fruits of our "burning bush" moments and focus anew on the enduring
source of MEEKNESS who is Jesus Crucified.
love make me mild and meek! This is a prayer the Lord loves to hear
assistance is needed to put on meekness.
Mild and Meek