Humility is the Remedy for all our Miseries.

Humility is the Remedy for all our Miseries.

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 Remedy for all our Miseries.

We will meditate upon a fourteenth reason for being very humble; it is because humility is: 1st, the remedy for all our miseries; 2d, the key of all graces. We will then form the resolution: 1st, to make our miseries serve daily to increase our growth in humility, by humbling ourselves profoundly before God; 2d, to carry into our prayers a deep sentiment of our littleness and of our unworthiness to speak to God.

The most useful of all knowledge is to know how to despise ourselves” (I. Imit. ii. 4).

Let us adore Our Lord covered with the appearance of sin and the form of a slave abased down to nothingness (Philipp. ii. 7). Let us render our homage to our divine Saviour in this state. The more He abases Himself for us, the more respect and love we owe Him.

We have all of us passions to conquer, and we do not know how to reach the end of them; temptations to overcome, and we do not know how to get rid of them; prayers and spiritual exercises to perform, and often our minds are so distracted, our hearts so arid and disgusted, that we do not know how to acquit ourselves of them. Now humility, the true universal remedy, cures all these weaknesses. It attacks all our passions at once, weakens them, casts them down almost without a combat, and reduces them by taking from them their principal food, which is self-love. Under the inspiration of humility, the soul, ashamed of itself, sees the passions which exist in it under the form of so many hideous lepers, the sight of which excites horror; it is filled with profound abasement and cries out towards Thee, O Lord, from the bottom of the abyss (Ps. cxxix. i): “Have pity on my great misery, O my God. How canst Thou endure me? How canst Thou love me who am so poor and so mean? Oh, I am worth nothing. How miserable I am, how I deserve the contempt of all creatures, and still more Thine, O Lord.” And in this humble state no passion can stand its ground. Our temptations also have no power of resistance. The tempted soul turns towards God and is confounded. “Lord,” it says with St. Teresa, “behold what my evil nature is capable of producing. I know well that plant of my garden. Thanks, Lord, for having shown me what I am, a corrupted nature, an abyss of miseries; all kinds of vices have their seeds in my heart. How ill then would it become me to indulge in self-love, to look upon myself as being anything and to desire that others should esteem me! How ill it becomes me to count upon myself and to expose myself to occasions of sin! I will fly from them, Lord, and with Thy help I will triumph over my enemies.” But it is above all in states of powerlessness to pray, in aridities and distractions, that humility is the supreme remedy. Then the soul is confounded in the presence of God; ashamed of its insolence, which forgets the respect due to so lofty a majesty; ashamed of its misery, which does not even know how to ask God for the spiritual alms of which it has need; then it quietly resumes its prayer where it left it off and continues it in a spirit of humility. If aridities or distractions return, the soul recommences its exercise of humility, without being troubled and without vexation; and thus it performs all its prayers, the best assuredly which it can perform, for the best prayer is that from which we issue forth the most humble. Oh, what an excellent remedy then is humility for all our miseries!

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.

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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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