Abba Carion said, ‘I have labored much harder than my son Zacharias and yet I have not attained to his measure of humility and silence.’
—-Sayings of the Desert
Very few of us would think of humility as a laborious task, yet the Abba speaks this word about himself. There are two distinct lines of thought in this very brief saying. First, humility is not only a sought-after state for the contemplative but is a lifelong labor. The second is the apparent unfairness of some people being rewarded even if they labor less than we do.
Humility is a hard task, and we must wake every day to the familiar words of the Jesus Prayer, “… have mercy on me, a SINNER.” Until we see ourselves as worthy of nothing but graciously gifted with His saving grace, we will never attain any sort of true humility.
Feeling cheated or let down by God is an age-old problem. So many times in our lives we have felt as though we have done all we can do, and we are still lacking. Exasperatingly, we are confronted with others who did less and received abundant blessings. The lesson here is that we do what we do out of love and worship of God, and not for reward from Him.
Lord, give me that grace to be able to labor for you without question. Drive away the tendency to think that I work harder than other and am somehow cheated. Let me take each task as a blessing that only I can achieve.