Humility is the Mother of Charity.
PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.
My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.
Humility is the Mother of Charity.
We will meditate upon a twelfth reason for being very humble, which is that: 1st, humility is the mother of charity; 2d, that it is the beauty of it. We will thence deduce the resolution: 1st, to treat every one with consideration and kindness, and to find happiness in the delicate attentions, the amiable kindnesses which charity inspires and which humility executes; 2d, to suffer all things whatsoever from every one and not to make any one suffer.
“With honor preventing one another” (Rom. xii. 10).
Let us adore Our Lord Jesus Christ bringing into the world the virtue of humility, of which even the very name was unknown before He came, and thereby preparing the way for charity, of which He was about to establish the reign here below. Let us thank Him for this double blessing, and let us conceive a great desire thoroughly to profit by it
It is only the humble soul which always shows towards its neighbor those delicate attentions, that esteem and respect, and that kindness of behavior which constitute true charity.
1st. Charity, says St. Paul, is patient (I. Cor. xiii. 4); it suffers everything from others, without making any one suffer. Now humility perfectly understands how to do so, but not pride, which is essentially impatient, and incapable of suffering contradiction, contempt, and a want of consideration (Prov. xiii. 10).
2d. Charity is neither jealous, envious, nor ambitious; far from envying the happiness of others or being annoyed at their success, it wishes it for them as much as it would for itself; it has so little ambition that there is nothing, however vile and low it may be, which it does not embrace with all its heart from love towards its neighbor. Now humility does all these things in simplicity, and pride will not hear of it.
3d. Charity, continues St. Paul, is not puffed up, does not know what it is to command arrogantly, to reprove with bitterness, to speak harshly, still less to treat any one whatever with contempt. Now humility excels in all these holy things, whilst pride acts in an entirely opposite manner.
4th. Charity is disinterested, and humility is also. As it does not esteem itself and esteems others as being better than itself, it places the interests of others always before its own. Pride thinks and acts in a quite opposite manner.
5th. Charity does not allow itself to be irritated; it is never embittered against or annoyed with any one, no matter what cause for displeasure it may receive. Humility is capable of this moderation, but not pride.
6th. Charity does not think of the evil that has been done it, or which its enemies wish to do it; and far from considering it as an injury or calling down vengeance upon it, it dissimulates it, excuses and forgives it. Now we may expect all these dispositions from humility, but not from pride,
7th. Lastly, charity, far from rejoicing over the faults of its neighbor, places all its happiness in seeing him advance in the paths of justice and in seeing himself surpassed by others in virtue (I. Cor. xiii. 6). Now it is thus that humility thinks and reasons. Pride, on the contrary, impatient of all superiority or preference of others over itself, cannot hear any one praised without trying to lessen what is said by an expression of censure. Let us examine by means of these seven characteristics whether a sincere humility has produced in us true charity.
PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.
My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.
September Devotion: The Holy Cross
Virtues to practice: Piety, fervor in the performance of sacred duties, the spirit of prayer
O Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into thy heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that every thought of my mind, and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy divine Son Jesus, keep me in His grace and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in heaven and sing thy glories. Amen.
An indulgence of 500 days (taken from The Raccolta (c)1957).
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