Whenever we see someone who is unable to protect herself or himself against pain, especially the type of pain that humbles and humiliates, we are witnessing the humiliation of God in the world. And if we have the eyes of faith, we will know that we stand at that place where the deeper secrets of heaven are revealedTo know God, one must begin to grasp the humiliation of God in this world. God shines brightly in our humiliations, unafraid to be embarrassed (Ron Rolheiser, OMI)
What an incredible statement even beautifulin its own way! In our humanity we try to avoid pain and humiliation at all costs no one wants to embrace illness, dying, or the slow destruction of our physical and mental abilities. And yet this is exactly what Christ did upon the Cross took on that pain to become our salvation.
A Holocaust survivor,Corrie TenBoom, oncetold the story ofhow she and her sister were captured by the Nazis and made to strip naked along with the other prisoners in a concentration camp. Corrie was afraid and horrified, but her sister whispered to her with eyes of faith, But Corrie, we are as our Savior was! Few of us are probably able to be that strong, but it is a thought worth meditating on. We become as our Savior was when we can let go of whatever image we have of ourselves and accept the humiliations of this life. We become as our Savior was when we are maligned, criticized or accused unjustly. And we become as our Savior was when we are nailed to a cross of disease and death.
St. Damien dealt with the pain of decaying bodies every day in caring for the lepers, and then eventually fell into that humiliation himself. He was finally forced to let others clean his wounds, bandage his limbs and care for him as he got weaker and weaker.He may haverebelled in his body, but his soul found peace: Having no doubts about the true nature of the disease, I am calm, resigned and very happy in the midst of my people. God certainly knows what is best for my sanctification and I gladly repeat: Thy will be done. May we all find thispeace when our time of humiliation comes...
St. Damien of Molokai, pray for us!