Ice cream is one of the most wonderful creations on this earth! It seems as though the more ice cream we have the more we want! On very rare occasions would we think to ourselves: “I need less ice cream.” Not only can I settle for one scoop, I need two scoops, or three…or four!! Ice cream is one of those things we just cannot get enough of!
Something similar happens when we consider self. There is something in us that says, “I need more praise,” “I need more compliments,” “I need you to tell me I am beautiful, athletic, intelligent.” It is very difficult for us to say: “I would rather be unnoticed,” “I don’t need praise or compliments.” St. John the Baptist taught us the right way: “He must increase and I must decrease” (John 3:30). In other words: love of God must increase and self-love must decrease. Many times we are afraid for people to see who we really are. We easily think to ourselves “If they knew what I was really like, they would never love me.” Guess what! God knows us better than we know ourselves. GOD LOVES US FOR WHO WE ARE!!!
The more we think about ourselves, the less we think about serving God and others. Think for a moment: how many times today have you said the words “I” or “me” in conversation with others. You might be surprised to see how constant “self” is on the mind! It is times like these when we ask ourselves…is life really all about me?
We celebrated the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord recently and we can hear the words on the lips of the Baptist: “He must increase, I must decrease” (John 3:30) St. John the Baptist teaches us the way of humility. St. John the Baptist was not “puffed up” because people were listening to him, but he pointed people to Jesus. I once heard that “real humility is not thinking less of ourselves, but thinking about ourselves less.” To be humble means to acknowledge the truth about ourselves and to see all our gifts, talents, and resources as gifts from God and must be used for His glory. All that is good in us has been given to us by God. Being humble also means acknowledging the weaknesses that are in us and through good spiritual direction, prayers and reverent reception of the sacraments these weaknesses can eventually be uprooted and we can be healed.
So what is the point? The point is this: not only should we share our ice cream, but we must KEEP OUR EYES ON JESUS AND THEN WE WILL FIND FULFILLMENT. We all want to be happy and if we allow God to increase and ourselves to decrease, the life of God will grow in us and we will be happy. Virtues will begin to bloom in us. Not only will we be satisfied with less ice cream, but we will become more fully ourselves, and become who God is calling us to be: loving sons and daughters of God who are living in truth.