The coincidence of three things, all meshing within a fifteen-minute period recently, offered pretty convincing evidence of Your conspiring to whisper to me about myself.
First, at Mass, I was shamefully aware of avoiding a semi-crippled old lady who often shuffles into church with her clunky walker.Someone usually rushes to help her up the stairs and through the doors to a pew, but I do my best to avoid being involved in that situation. Second, the gospel a few minutes later was about the student of the law asking You what was needed to be saved and then answering his own question which you then illustrated with the story of the good Samaritan. Third, right after that, the homily was preached about self-centered spirituality.
These days I am more and more aware of the impenetrable arena of my self. I find it a major fault coupled with the even greater fault of not caring much about doing anything about it. With others not of my own immediate family I am quiet, introverted, and private. In fact, I go to great lengths making efforts to stay that way. My assumption is the more invisible I keep myself the less imposing there is of my self upon others. I regard this as a good thing. But, in my actions, the residual of this is that I tend not to act because doing so diminishes rather than magnifies my self.
I do have strong opinions and beliefs, and I do, to a certain extent, express them to those closest to me. Furthermore, what I see in this is not just a negation of self but, on the contrary, a fear of being wrong and a concern that my image of myself as well as other’s image of me may be damaged by whatever might smack of self-righteous assertiveness.
It’s paralyzing for anyone who wants to be an influence but not be perceived as such. There is no question that I could be more gracious – and more selfless.