ROOT AND FRUIT OF CHRISTIAN LIFE
Actually a lot is said about self-esteem which is necessary for some minimal mental health; it is not healthy to underestimate oneself. The Gospel, with its known paradoxes, is capable of combining self-esteem and modesty. Jesus praised the simple, invited us to feel like children, but not being underestimated. He didn’t make anybody feel inferior; rather he was a bearer of psychic health affirming the dignity of a child of God that all human beings possesses. To public sinners, despised and without any hope of salvation, he assured them of reception and recuperation through the good work of God: “Today salvation has entered into this house” (Lk 19, 9), he said making reference to Zaccheus. And the deformed woman he cured even on a Sabbath because being a “daughter of Abraham” it was not just that she suffered a permanent calamity.
But Jesus did not teach anybody to boast about himself or of anything; he only knew that someone in good health does not need recognition, as he didn’t need it himself, just as when they wanted to proclaim him king, he ran to the mountains to pray alone. Jesus invited people to recognize their proper greatness, of children of Abraham and children of God, but to recognize this as a gift, not as an achievement and, consequently, to live humbly, grateful to the Father for His gifts.
Fr. Claret profoundly lived this humility; when he was consecrated bishop and bearer of titles and big crosses he wrote about himself: “… I am a donkey over burdened with jewels”. But he never silenced these jewels, but rather confessed the greatness of the love of God for him: “may the Lord be blessed for stooping to use this miserable person as myself to do such great things” (Aut 703). This humility taught him not to claim right over anything and from there too, not to feel worried when something is denied of him. Meekness was for him, the fruit of humility besides the personal choice to resemble Jesus.