|St. George: Wikimedia Commons|
An old English word used for training a horse is "meeking". I wasn't aware of the word meeking at all until a few years back when, much to my humiliation (and note the word humiliation), a women gifted with discerning the spiritual gifts of others informed me (yes, she actually got a word of knowledge about it) that God was "meeking" me. Lacking meekness, my mind immediately pushed aside the words she had spoken about my spiritual gifts and zoned right in on the "meeking"...lol. Let's just say my face felt hot and flushed and I couldn't wait to get out of there.
But she was right. The next three years were the hardest of my spiritual life as this meeking process
began and continues to this day. Imagine if you can constant correction by both God...and others. Many of you probably CAN imagine it because you've been through it yourselves. The saints warn us about this stuff and we assume they are exaggerating.
Oh yes...God uses others to correct us. It loses its sting after a while but I'm not going to lie and say it's an easy process. It helps to know that this is a stage of the spiritual life that very few are exempt from.
If you fight the correction...it gets worse. I kid you not. If you don't accept the correction humbly it's as if all hell breaks loose and everybody and their brother begins noticing every little (okay...big)
fault and peculiarity you have.
What I didn't understand then was that meeking was a good thing. Meeking isn't meant to strip the power from a horse but rather to harness that power so it can be used in a more purposeful manner. Meeking, as ugly as it sounds, leaves a person with a pliable and teachable spirit and this is something that we want. Without this teachable spirit it's very difficult to make much spiritual progress.
I guess I should have thanked God for the advance warning that He was doing this but I would have been lying through my teeth if I had said I was grateful for it back then. Even today the thank you is forced through slightly gritted teeth.
A great help to me was Archbishop Fenelon's book Let Go. Even the chapter titles spoke to me:
"Sensitivity to Reproof is the Surest Sign We Needed it."
Or how about this:
"Your ego can neither be convinced nor forced into submission by any other means; it is always finding secret lines of supply from your own courage; it is always discovering impenetrable retreats in your own cleverness."
I felt bad for the poor guy just thinking of what he must have gone through to get such a deep understanding of our innate stubbornness.
Oh, and a word to the wise:
Never automatically agree with everyone just to get this spiritual stage over with.
Trust me on this one...it doesn't work.
What do you mean how do I know?