Humility through writing

Scholar Prayer by St. Thomas Aquinas

Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom,
origin of all being,
graciously let a ray of your light penetrate
the darkness of my understanding.
Take from me the double darkness
in which I have been born,
an obscurity of sin and ignorance.
Give me a keen understanding,
a retentive memory, and
the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally.
Grant me the talent of being exact
in my explanations and the ability to express myself
with thoroughness and charm.
Point out the beginning,
direct the progress,
and help in the completion.
I ask this through Christ our Lord.

About three weeks ago I came upon this profound prayer composed by St. Thomas Aquinas.   Since I began this blog over 6 months ago I have striven greatly to maintain a spiritual outlook while writing about the things that matter most to me.  Part of maintaining this spiritual outlook involves me praying before and after I write a blog.  I do this primarily to draw upon God's inexhaustible wisdom, but also as a way of humbling myself.

I remember when I first began this blog I thought that I would be able to write effortlessly, with little trouble. I had an inflated belief in my own abilities and I believed that I was so gifted that the words would somehow pour out of me as easily as water from a bottle.   In my pride I failed to realize that the art of writing was a call, a divine commissioning, something that could only come from divine inspiration, nothing else.  If I failed to realize this simple truth than all of my writing would be in vain , as the scriptures say,

"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain...It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil. (Psalm 127: 1a, 2,a)

Faced with this humbling prospect I asked myself these difficult questions, "Is it the Lord's will for me to write this blog? If not am I laboring in vain?

The writing experience for me has been a humbling one.  I have often times found that the art of writing is so difficult, and tedious that I even question if I have what it takes to make it in the first place.  The only thing that keeps me going during these trying times is the hope that somehow I am serving God through the art of writing.  If I view writing from the lens of a divine call, than I have the inspiration and the tenacity necessary for continuing to fight the fight.  For me to write I need a divine origin, I need to know that I am not writing for self fulfilling aims.  I need to know that I am writing because the Lord wants me to, not vice versa.  I need to decrease as the Lord increases through my writing.


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