The Ninth Day
(Thursday, March 14, 2019)
A Manner of Humbleness
“What are the marks of religious responding in genuine religion? . . . 1. . . . Consciousness of superhuman power in the universe. . . . This consciousness . . . shows itself in some degree in a manner of humbleness, a subjecting of the self to what is felt to be the commands, the laws, ‘the word’ of the powers. The degree to which the power is supremely worthful gives beauty and significance to this humbleness.” (Wieman & Wieman)
When belief becomes faith, religion becomes real. God is felt deeply within us and can be noticed and identified at work all around us in the environing world. The more intense our faith, the greater our wonder, and the more ecstatic our wonder, the deeper our sense of humility. Humility before God’s continuing thrust for mutuality and meaning opens us to such growth within ourselves. (Donald Szantho Harrington)
Universal Being, ever Becoming, before Your greatness and goodness we become humble indeed, and in our humility—open and teachable. Thus we let You in to change our lives for good. God be in us always. Amen.
I look to thee in ev’ry need,
and never look in vain;
I feel thy strong and tender love,
And all is well again:
The tho’t of thee is mightier far
Than sin and pain and sorrow are.
Discouraged in the works of life,
Disheartened by its load,
Shamed by its failures or its fears,
I sink beside the road;
But let me only think of thee,
And then new heart springs up in me.
The calmness bends serene above,
My restlessness to still
Around me flows the quickening life,
To nerve my faltering will:
Thy presence fills my solitude;
Thy providence turns all to good.
Embosomed deep in thy dear love,
Held in thy law, I stand;
Thy hand in all things I behold,
And all things in thy hand;
Thou leadest me by unsought ways,
And turn’st my mourning into praise.
—Samuel Longfellow (Hymns of the Spirit, no. 258)
Donald Szantho Harrington wrote the Lenten meditation manual Outstretched Wings of the Spirit: On Being Intelligently and Devotedly Religiousbased on the theology of Henry Nelson Wieman and Regina Westcott Wieman. It was published by the Unitarian Universalist Association in 1980.