An Ode to Humility
"For the last three weeks, Cambodia has been my gracious host. Amidst all the pungent smells and cultural oddities this country has to offer, my time has been full of joy and excitement. Humility is a value I knew I would need on my journey but didn’t realize how fully it would color my experience. It’s something I’ve had to embody personally but have seen all the more lived out in the witness of the Khmer ( the main Cambodian ethnic group) laity and the sacrifice of religious sisters and priests.
From planting trees to cleaning the sacristy, polishing crucifixes, and simple cooking, most of my “service” has been menial tasks for the parish priests. I am not building schools or teaching English to the masses. Instead, I sweep and weed and hug the children. Humble and simple, to say the least.
Mass on the island of Koh Sdach, where approximately 3 Catholic families live.
Hanging laundry in the village of Taom. Eva said "Here I appreciate the beauty of simple tasks, the little way."
A joyful dinner in Koh Sdach, with the fresh catches of the fishermen hosts.
My favorite part of my time here has been to share meals with Khmer Catholic families. They welcome me into their humble homes and shower me with attentive care and affection. Not only am I grateful for the delicious, authentic food they make, often a pho like soup with fresh fish and vegetables, I am grateful for the witness of their families, devoted to a faith in so many ways contrary to the culture around them.
Worship here is marked with humility as well. Most churches are quite basic with little art or embellishment to adorn the sanctuaries, simple choirs made up of one or two people, and few attendees. With few church buildings, it’s not uncommon to have mass in someone’s attic.
Here in Cambodia the Church clings to the greatness of the Lord. She portrays great humility through her full reliance on the Holy Spirit, for she is too weak and little to rely on the merits and strengths of her people. With St. Therese as my guide, I will strive to be guided by the Church’s holy example and be taught in the ways of abandonment and humility."