Friday, July 4, 2008

On Humility...

”The whole life of Christ upon earth was a continual lesson of morality, but He in a special manner proposed to us His humiliation for our imitation. The Son of God says not to us: Learn of Me to make Heaven and earth, to create all visible things, to work miracles, to raise the dead; but learn of Me to be meek and humble of heart, for solid humility is much more powerful and safe than empty grandeur.”
-Saint Augustine, Father and Doctor of the Church

”Have these three things always present to your mind: what you were, what you are, and what you will be.”
-Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Father and Doctor of the Church

”When trees are much loaded with fruit, the quantity weighs down, nay, sometimes breaks the branches; whereas, those which are not so laden remain straight; and when the ears of corn are full, they hang down, so that the stalk seems ready to break; but when they stand up, it is a sign there is little in them. Just so it is as to spiritual things. They who bear no fruit continually shoot upward, but they who are laden with the fruit of grace and good works are always hanging down their heads in a humble posture; they make the favors they have received from God a subject of further humiliation and fear.”
-Saint Dorotheus

”We are only worth the price at which God values us. True merit must be weighed in His scales, for it is His judgment which alone can decide between real and counterfeit virtue.”
-Saint John Berchmans

”Nothing can tend so much to humble us before the mercy and justice of God as the consideration of His benefits and our own sins. Let us, then, consider what He has done for us, and what we have done against Him; let us call to mind our sins in detail, and His gracious benefits in like manner, remembering that whatever there is of good in us is not ours, but His, and then we need not be afraid of vainglory or of taking complacency in ourselves. If, however, when reflecting on the graces with which God has favored us, we should be assailed with thoughts of vainglory, the consideration of our ingratitude, imperfections, and wretchedness will be an infallible remedy against them. If we consider what we have done when God was not with us, we shall see at once that what we do when He is with us is not our work or production; we shall, indeed, rejoice in the possession of it, but we shall give all the glory to God, Who alone is the author of it, as the Blessed Virgin proclaimed that God had done great things in her behalf, but only to humble herself and glorify God. ‘My soul,’ said she, ‘doth magnify the Lord, because He has done great things for me.’”
-Saint Francis of Sales, Doctor of the Church

”A treasure is secure so long as it remains concealed: but when once disclosed and laid open to every bold invader, it is presently rifled; so virtue is safe as long as secret, but, if rashly exposed, it but too often evaporates into smoke. By humility and contempt of the world, the soul, like an eagle, soars on high, above all transitory things, and tramples on the backs of lions and dragons.”
-Saint Syncletica

”Believe me, that a little attention to acquire humility, and an act of this virtue, are worth more before God's infinite wisdom than all the learning of the world . . . Humility drew the Son of God from Heaven to the womb of a Virgin, and by the same humility we can draw Him into our souls. The more the flower of humility blossoms in a soul, the greater is the good odor it imparts to her who possesses it, to those who behold her, and to those who are about her.”
-Saint Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church

”It is foolish to be puffed up with human favor, or to be proud of earthly honor. For what is great before men is abominable before God, and what a man is in the sight of God, that he is and no more. It cannot be known how much humility or patience a servant of God has, when he has everything according to his own wishes or necessity. But when the time comes that those who ought to befriend him turn against him, then he has as much humility and patience as he shows, and no more.
-Saint Francis of Assisi

”God takes especial delight in the humility of a man who believes that he has not yet begun to do any good.”
-Saint Philip Neri

”Humility is a Divine shield and veil which conceals our good works and virtues from our own too curious eyes. Penance awakens us; holy sorrow knocks at Heaven's gate; humility opens them. This virtue is the only one no devil can imitate. If pride made demons out of Angels, there is no doubt that humility could make Angels out of demons.”
-Saint John Climacus

”Humiliation is the road to humility, as meekness in suffering tribulations and injuries produces patience. If you do not exercise humiliations, you cannot attain to humility.”
-Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Father and Doctor of the Church

”In the order of the virtues, humility holds the first rank,-in this sense, that it drives from us pride, which sets us at war with God; and that, on the contrary, it renders man submissive and entirely open to the effusions of Divine grace”.
-Saint Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church

”As, when the sun is eclipsed, the whole earth is dark, so, if there is a want of humility, all our works are blighted, and are nothing but blemish and corruption.”
-Saint John Climacus

”No man can attain to the knowledge of God but by humility. The way to mount high is to descend; for all great falls which ever happened in this world were caused by pride, and all spiritual advantages arose from humility.”
-Blessed Giles of Assisi

”By humility a man finds grace before God and peace with men.”
-Blessed Giles of Assisi

”This is the path to salvation, to rejoice in every advantage, and to grieve for every misfortune of your neighbor, to see and acknowledge your own evils and miseries, and to believe only good of others; to know others and despise yourself.”
-Blessed Giles of Assisi

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