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Diocese of Rockville Centre

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and the Lowest Gate Print E-mail
Saturday, 08 January 2011 00:00

"The gate of Heaven is very low; only the humble can enter it." (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton)

Though most of us would say we prize humility as a quality to possess, it is one which must be worked out in prayer and practice.  Our egos can be in constant conflict with humility,  as in the story of the good wolf and the evil wolf:

A tribal elder was telling his grandson about the battle the old man was waging within himself. He said, "It is between two wolves, my son. One is an evil wolf: anger, envy, sorrow, greed, self-pity, guilt, resentment, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other is the good wolf: joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.” The boy took this in for a few minutes and then said to his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee replied simply, “The one I feed.”

So it is with humility – we must feed it to enable it to grow.  How many times have we been in a dispute with someone about a certain issue, and because we know we are in the right we insist upon our way?  And yet humility would tell us that we can give up that right and defer, instead, to the other.   Mother Seton would remind us that love is the master of humility, and ask us to enter at the lowest gate. 

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us!