I want to share something I wrote on my blog at bonumteesse.blogspot.com.
Bellum ad Verbum: Meek
"War for a word"
So have you ever been talking with your friend and just started arguing for seemingly no reason? Did you disagree with your friend and gone on to fight about it for the longest time? Maybe you resolved it, maybe not. I can offer a significant guarantee that you were fighting over the meaning of a word.
In addition, for those of us fighting for the culture of life, we know how important words and their meanings are. We have seen it used against us: “reproductive health.” But we have also used it ourselves: “pro-life.” How many battles do you see being waged against the false meaning of “reproductive health,” somehow suggesting that abortion is a matter of “health?” How many battles do you see being waged against the term “pro-life,” suggesting that being pro-life means being first and foremost “pro-mother?”
Battles for words occur all the time.
One important word that I want to fight for today is the word “meek.” I will present both sides.
The first is probably the most common usage:
* humble in spirit or manner; suggesting retiring mildness or even cowed submissiveness; "meek and self-effacing"
* very docile; "tame obedience"; "meek as a mouse"- Langston Hughes
* evidencing little spirit or courage; overly submissive or compliant; "compliant and anxious to suit his opinions of those of others"; "a fine fiery blast against meek conformity"- Orville Prescott; "she looked meek but had the heart of a lion"; "was submissive and subservient"
Because this is what we think of when we think of “meek,” when we read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, we might be turned off or think that Jesus wants to be pushovers.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)
On the contrary, the best definition of meek I got was from one of my theology professors: “To be meek is to be like a rock, unmoved by the ocean waves.”
Psalm 37:10-11 reads:
In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there. But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.
While those who are evil are caught up in the world and tossed side to side, it is the meek who remain grounded and firm in the face of adversity. They defend “the land” with steadfastness and honor and shall inherit it when the time comes.
Benedict writes the following:
Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the church is often labeled today as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along by every wind of teaching, looks like the only attitude acceptable to today's standards.
Benedict calls us to meekness.
Jesus was meek. He held firm to his promises and followed his Father’s will. Although the non-Christian might be tempted to think that Jesus’ crucifixion was a sign of weakness and “cowed submissiveness,” we know that Jesus was the strongest person, of heart and mind, that has ever walked this earth.
Be meek and be proud of it.