Core Value #3: Humble of Heart

Lexa Davis and Mark Nemecek on an evangelization outing

We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.

2 Corinthians 4:7-10 NABRE

We acknowledge that we are weak and bear within us the wounds of sin; and that we must endure many trials in order to enter the kingdom of God. Therefore we offer ourselves, as we are, in trustful abandonment to our merciful Father, in reliance upon Him for everything. We are committed to learning from others, admitting when we are wrong, and forgiving others when offended by them. Jesus must increase; and we must decrease.

SPSE “humble of heart” official description

Saint Paul Street Evangelization is humble of heart. Let’s start with what we don’t mean by this. We don’t mean that we are perfect in the virtue of humility, or even that we’re more humble than the average Catholic. We do mean that Saint Paul Street Evangelization is a group of Catholics who acknowledge our imperfections, weaknesses, and shortcomings. We confess that we are sinners and unprofitable servants of Our Lord. We admit that many of us have been wounded by the evil in the world, and may not yet have been totally healed of these wounds. But we submit to them as trials and sufferings in imitation of Jesus — imperfectly (it is true), but sincerely, nonetheless. We also recognize that, though we have many great evangelists in our ranks, many of us are not among the most skilled evangelists. We evangelize because we are called to do so; not because we are always the best suited to the job.

Most of all, we acknowledge our radical need for God. In our weakness, we have nowhere else to go but to Him. And going to Him makes all the difference for us — for our weakness turns into faith and trust. We lean on Him through prayer, and by relying on our brothers and sisters in Christ. We repent of our sins and are renewed by His mercy. We look forward in hope, knowing that when we humble ourselves before the Lord, He will exalt us (see James 4:10).

May Jesus Christ be praised and glorified in us and in all of His servants!

My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 1:2-4 NRSVCE

Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.

James 4:10 NABRE

They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.”

Acts 14:22, NABRE

He must increase; I must decrease.

John 3:30, NABRE

I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

The Church and her missionaries must also bear the witness of humility, above all with regard to themselves-a humility which allows them to make a personal and communal examination of conscience in order to correct in their behavior whatever is contrary to the Gospel and disfigures the face of Christ.

Pope St. John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, 43

Author: Mr. Mark J Hornbacher, OP

Mark is the Vice President of Programs and Director of Theology at St. Paul Street Evangelization. He has a MA in Theology and a B.Phil from Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, and a BA in Theology from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI. With Steve Dawson, he is the co-author of Ordinary Christians, Extraordinary Signs: Healing in Evangelization. He is a lay Dominican, and resides in Sterling Heights, MI with his wife Gayle, and their two sons.

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