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Thursday, 17 October 2013

On Humility, again....

Of course, humility is the answer. Here is long section from the great Garrigou-Lagrange. The boldface type is what I chose as particularly beautiful sections.

But there is first a similar purification of humility. Humility is commonly said to be the fundamental virtue which removes pride, the source of every sin. St. Augustine and St. Thomas for this reason compare it to the excavation that must be dug for the construction of a building, an excavation that needs to be so much deeper as the building is to be higher. Consequently, to deepen humility it does not suffice to scratch the soil a little, it is not sufficient that we ourselves dig, as we do in a thorough examination of conscience. To drive out pride, the Lord Himself must intervene through the special inspirations of the gifts of knowledge and understanding. He then shows the soul the hitherto unsuspected degree of its profound indigence and wretchedness and throws light on the hidden folds of conscience in which lie the seeds of death. Thus a ray of sunlight shining into a dark room shows all the dust, held in suspension in the air and previously imperceptible. Under the purifying divine light, as under a powerful projector, the soul sees in itself a multitude of defects it had never noticed; confounded by the sight, it cannot bear this light. It sees at times that by its repeated sins it has placed itself in a miserable state, a state of abjection. St. Paul, strongly tempted, felt his frailty keenly. Blessed Angela of Foligno seemed to herself an abyss of sin and wished to declare her state to everyone. St. Benedict Joseph Labre one day began his confession by saying: "Have pity on me, Father, I am a great sinner." The confessor, finding nothing seriously reprehensible in his accusation, said to him: "I see that you do not know how to go to confession." He then questioned the saint on the grossest sins, but obtained such humble answers so full of the spirit of faith, that he understood that his penitent, who confessed in this manner, was a saint.
Such is indeed the purification of humility, which is no longer only exterior, no longer the pouting or sad humility of one who holds aloof because people do not approve of him. It becomes true humility of heart, which loves to be nothing that God may be all; it bows profoundly before the infinite majesty of the Most High and before what is divine in every creature.

And, here is the great prayer of Our Lord in Humility.

Kontakion 1
Plagal of Fourth Tone

To You, the Champion Leader and Lord, the Vanquisher of Hades, I, Your creature and servant, offer a song of praise, for You have delivered me from eternal death. But as You have ineffable loving-kindness, deliver me from all dangers, that I may cry to You:
Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me.