More gems of wisdom from Jesus, The Word To Be Spoken by Mother Theresa:
"CONFESSION IS NOTHING BUT HUMILITY in action. We used to call it penance, but really it is a sacrament of love, a sacrament of forgiveness. When there is a gap between me and Christ, when my love is divided, anything can come to fill the gap. Confession is a place where I allow Jesus to take away from me everything that divides, that destroys.
"The reality of my sins must come first. For most of us there is the danger of forgetting that we are sinners and must go to confession as sinners. We must go to God to tell Him we are sorry for all we have done that may have hurt Him.... This is humility: to have the courage to accept humiliation and receive God's forgiveness. "
"SELF-KNOWLEDGE IS VERY NECESSARY for confession. That is why the saints could say they are wicked criminals. They saw God and then saw themselves -- and they saw the difference. Hence they were not surprised when anyone accused them, even falsely. They knew themselves and knew God. We take hurt because we do not know ourselves, and our eyes are not fixed on God alone; so we do not have real knowledge of God. When the saints looked upon themselves with such horror, they really meant it. They were not pretending.
"We must also be able to make the distinction between self-knowledge and sin. Self-knowledge will help us to rise up, whereas sin and the weakness that leads to repeated sin will lead to despondency. Deep confidence and trust will come through self-knowledge. Then you will turn to Jesus to support you in your weakness, whereas if you think you are strong, you will not need our Lord.
"It may happen that children repeatedly fail in their religious examination when being prepared for First Communion. Do not give in to discouragement. No more must you do so when you try to save a marriage or convert a sinner and you do not succeed. If you are discouraged, it is a sign of pride because you trust in your own powers. Never bother about people's opinions. Be humble and you will never be disturbed.
"Today, when everything is being questioned and changed, let us go back to Nazareth. Jesus had come to redeem the world, to teach us the love of His Father. How strange that He should spend thirty years doing nothing, wasting His time! Not giving a chance to His personality or to His gifts! We know that at the age of twelve he silenced the learned riests of the Temple, who knew so much and so well. But when his parents found him, he went down to Nazareth and was subject to them. For twenty years we hear no more of him, so that the people were astonished when he went in public to preach. He, a carpenter's son, doing just the humble work in a carpenter's shop for thirty years!
"Humility is nothing but truth. 'What have we got that we have not received?' asks St Paul. If I have received everything, what good have I of my own? If we are convinced of this, we will never raise our head in pride. If you are humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are. If you are blamed you will not be discouraged, if they call you a saint you will put yourself on a pedestral. If you are a saint, thank God. If you are a sinner, do not remain so."
(See also Mother of All Virtues and Mother Theresa's article On Forgiveness in the book No Greater Love.)
It's truly hard to believe: i've been praying daily with Mother Theresa's book for close to ten years. Yet, i had been so blind or deaf to (or forgetful of...) her numerous teachings on the virtue of humility in the book!
Ahhh... after reading On Forgiveness (as in No Greater Love), as i suspected, Mother Theresa's words had been re-arranged (for some reason) in Jesus, The Word To Be Spoken. No wonder her message seems a little garbled and lacks impact.
Time to look for a better book?
(btw, re-arranged the quotes above to reflect more closely the order in No Greater Love.)