I like Dorothy Day’s comment “Common sense in religion is rare, and we are too often trying to be heroic instead of just ordinarily good and kind”.
There is no doubt that many of us are wired to take charge and to make things happen. This is true in matters of spirituality as it is in most other areas of our lives. Unfortunately, applying this principle to our faith lives can and likely will inhibit the work of the Holy Spirit in facilitating the conversion of spirit that we all need to receive and digest the grace that we are provided with to assist our transformation.
Our lives as Christians should be solidly based on faith as our ancestor Abraham’s was. We believe and because we believe the redemptive act of Jesus has connected us to a pipeline of grace that permits us to humbly accept the Spirit’s direction in our lives. We’re expected to cooperate with that grace and not to manipulate it or to take part of it and discard other parts.
Humility for many of us is the diamond in the rough. When we find it, and we will with the help of the Holy Spirit, we need to clutch it, ponder it and ultimately embrace it. Humility oils and maintains the “grace receptacle” in our souls allowing God’s grace to flow unimpeded.
When we are tempted to religiosity rather than the pursuit of Jesus, it is likely because humility has yet to take hold in our lives. The fervent grasp of ideology fosters self righteousness and blinds the soul to the work of the Holy Spirit. St Paul made that point in today’s scripture reading from Galatians [Galatians 3: 6-14] “ Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—— in order that in Christ Jesus the blessings of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith”.
Letting go and letting God be is a pivotal lesson for each of us. Sometimes we are too harsh on ourselves, inclined as we are to chastise ourselves for failing to match up to our own expectations. God loves us with a love that we can only imagine in its intensity and knows that we are weak and in need of his grace. That is why Jesus came to live among us, to help us and to deliver us. That is the only heroism we need embrace and we do that by a simple act of faith.