ALL CHILDREN OF ADAM AND EVE
"Who can say, 'I have made my heart clean; I am pure from my sin'?"
"Surely there is no righteous man on earth who does good and never sins."
"If we say we have no sin,
we deceive ourselves,
and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins,
he is faithful and just,
and will forgive our sins
and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say we have not sinned,
we make him a liar,
and his word is not in us."
(I Jn 1:8-10)
THE SINISTER ENEMY WITHIN
"[D]eceit, hiding the real evil, falsehood and cunning
are basic to the devil's technique.
He never reveals his true intentions,
but masks his purpose under various disguises.
He adapts himself to people's temperaments and character,
even to their tastes.
If they are meek and submissive,
he tries to seduce them along self-effacive lines.
If they are bold and headstrong,
he urges them to evil under an aggressive guise.
If they are worldly and pleasure-seeking,
he will enter their door with temptations of the flesh.
If they are prayerful and spiritual-minded,
he will appear 'as an angel of light'.
If they tend to be emotional,
he adjusts his tactics
to where his intended victims give least resistance
to their passions.
If they are intellectual,
he will accommodate himself
and tempt them to pride and sins of the mind."
(John Hardon SJ, The Catholic Catechism)
PRAYING LIKE THE PHARISEE
"There are men who work
--and work earnestly--
from an abstract sense of duty
and a sort of self-righteousness,
sometimes achieving a sense of self-exaltation,
giving thanks that they are not like the rest of men and,
by ascribing to their own talents and diligence
the work of the ministry the success they achieve,
thereby make themselves hateful in the eyes of God by their pride."
(Eugene Boylan, The Spiritual Life of the Priest, p 153)
"God does not want proud, self-satisfied servants.
On the contrary,
he wants them to be convinced of their own unworthiness."
(St Josemaria, Letter 9 January 1932)
DIGGING DEEP THE FOUNDATIONS OF VIRTUE
Without humility, everything else is "like a huge heap of hay
which we have piled up,
but which, with the first gust of wind is blown over
and scattered far and wide.
The devil has little respect
for those devotions which are not founded on humility,
because he knows well that he can get rid of them whenever he pleases."
(St John M Vianney, Sermon on Humility)
BEWARE OF ONESELF
Be humble because we know that in part we are made of clay
and though we know a small part of our pride and wretchedness
we do not know it all.
Let us discover whatever hinders our faith, our hope and our love."
(St Josemaria, Letter 24 March 1931, 26)
ASKING THE HARD QUESTIONS
"Are you truly humble?
Are you capable of mortifying your self-love
for the sake of charity?
Are you able to overlook those humiliations
that God asks of you
in things of no importance that do not obscure the truth?
Ask our Lord to give you humility,
because pride increases with the passing years
if it is not corrected on time."
(St Josemaria, 1962)
"How many are my iniquities and my sins?
Make me know my transgression and my sin."
FRUIT OF HUMILITY
"He is able to have compassion
on the ignorant and erring
because he himself also
is beset with weakness,
and by reason thereof
is obliged to offer for sins,
as on behalf of the people
so also for himself."
IN GOD'S TRAINING GROUND
"And to keep me from being too elated
by the abundance of revelations,
a thorn was given me in the flesh,
a messenger of Satan, to harass me,
to keep me from being too elated."
(II Cor 12:7)
LITANY OF HUMILITY
O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, hear me!
From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me Jesus.
...the desire of being loved...
...the desire of being extolled...
...the desire of being honoured...
...the desire of being praised...
...the desire of being preferred to others...
...the desire of being consulted...
...the desire of being approved...
From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me Jesus.
...the fear of being despised...
...the fear of suffering rebukes...
...the fear of being calumniated...
...the fear of being forgotten...
...the fear of being ridiculed...
...the fear of being wronged...
...the fear of being suspected...
That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I...
That in the opinion of the world
others may increase
and I may decrease...
That others may be chosen and I set aside...
...be praised and I unnoticed...
...be preferred to me in everything...
...become holier than I,
provided that I may become
as holy as I should.
(Cardinal Merry del Val)
MOTHER OF MY SAVIOR
"Alma Redemptoris Mater,"
Loving Mother of the Redeemer,
Star of the Sea!
Help those who are falling!
Have pity on us poor sinners!
"Ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
et in hora mortis nostrae.