Pope Benedict XVI was speaking during a Mass with members of the International Theological Commission when he reminded them to be humble in their search for truth. He reflected on the virtues of both St. Damien of Molokai and St. Therese of Lisieux and spoke of how humility leads theologians in their quest for truth.
Why did Pope Benedict mention these two saints in regards to humility? He goes on to say that they were both “touched in the depths of their hearts.” These “little people who were also wise” are models from which to draw inspiration.
There is nothing more humbling than not being able to take care of yourself and allowing others to care of you. St. Damien was surrounded by a community of people who were very sick and needed constant care. We are so often filled with our own pride that we can't accept love and service from others. Don't we often treat God in the same way? We think that we have our own lives under control and we will turn to God when we need Him, but that is not a loving relationship! How can we allow Him to love us when we are in need if we don't allow Him to love us all the time? We need to let Him shape and mold our hearts, embracing that He allows our weakness, our sinful nature, and any sickness to humble us to a more pure love for those we serve, our caretakers, and for our God.
St. Damien dedicated sixteen years of his life to serve the people of Molokai until he suffered the same illness with them. We can't waste a moment of this precious life...we must see all of the small opportunities we have within each day to serve others and to embrace and love all the people who serve us.
Lord, give us the wisdom to see the opportunities You provide for us each day to serve You. Help us to embrace our weaknesses in humility, Lord, because they are constantly drawing us closer to You. Don't allow us to view any task as too small, if it is done in service to You and our neighbor in love. "...My sacrifice, God, is a broken spirit; God, do not spurn a broken, humbled heart." (Psalm 51:19)
St. Damien of Molokai, pray for us!