Humble Composting

Cross in Outdoor Chapel, Estes Pk, CO

Cross in Outdoor Chapel, Estes Pk, CO

At the monastery this year, we have been studying sacred scripture through the lens of humility . Humility comes from the root word “humus”, meaning  earth, ground, or dirt. Just like the composting process that converts table scraps into rich soil, we become gift to the world in the turning of the contents of our lives; especially the throw away pieces we’d rather never reflect on. These throw away pieces, when unearthed from the hard, parched soil of our soul, often become the greatest gift of all.Today was our final class and we have been sharing the personal psalms we have written as our final project. It struck me how well matched the activity was for this liturgical season of Lent. Saint Benedict uses the image of the ladder to represent the pilgrimage of humility – twelve rungs representing the steps through which God raises us up in love and mercy. This is a difficult journey. We are stripped and left vulnerable before our God. In the process old masks are discarded, sins confessed, control relinquished and hardened hearts broken open. It draws us into the paschal mystery: life, death and resurrection. The sense of this journey is captured in Luke 18:14, “whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.”  I offer you my Psalm on this Lenten Tuesday. Perhaps you might consider writing your own this Lent.

A Psalm of Ascent
O God, fashion the ladder of my ascent to you –
       Bind my body and soul as one to serve only you.
       And root me deeply in rich, dark soil of life
                   Especially when I would rather abandon the roots of this life
O God, fashion the rungs of my ascent
       Guide me in lowliness and give me a teachable spirit
                   Especially when my brokenness leads me into sin
O God, break open my scars and the memories that bind me
       And lead me on this pilgrimage
For the path to you is long and I am weary by day’s end…and I am tempted to give up
Create in me a humble spirit,
       Willing to travel down dangerous roads of sacrifice in your name
                   Especially when that sacrifice leads others to you
Create in me a discerning spirit
       Willing to hold silence according to your ways
                   Especially when my words will cause unholy division
Create in me a creature spirit
       Willing to live the truth that you are God, and I am not
                   Especially when my will causes others to falter
O God, I remember the times you’ve found me in the darkness
And quieted the unbearable noise and bright blinding lights
Drawing me toward you in the darkness of exile;
Revealing your presence …And teaching me about humility.
 O God, fashion the ladder of my ascent to you.

About WalkingwithBenedict

I love how scripture comes alive with messages for our lives today. In praying with scripture, we are called into deeper relationship with God and others. We are called to the growth in love, hospitality, peace, humility, stewardship and hope. St Benedict's Rule provides a lens for how scripture can be lived in our lives today whether we live inside or outside a monastery.
This entry was posted in Humility, Lent, Psalms, Retreat and Classes, Scripture. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Humble Composting

  1. Kathy j says:

    Your psalm is very beautiful.


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