Meditation XII



I assure you unless you change and become like little children, you will not enter the Kingdom of God. He who humbles himself will be exalted. Learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart.

All of these lessons of the Savior clearly show us that we should not only strive for humility, but that without it, we will not be saved; neither can we expect graces from God nor call ourselves imitators of Jesus Christ. He not only encouraged us with words to practice this virtue, but constantly taught it by giving us an example.

Despite God’s clearly stated recommendation, a very small number of souls practice it. We could say that only the Blessed Virgin practiced it perfectly. On her were effected the words of Christ: Who belittles himself will be exalted because it was through humility that she rose to such great heights.

Humility draws down on us God’s grace because Scripture tells us that: God resists the proud but bestows his favor on the lowly. And yet, one of the most difficult things is to find a humble soul, not only among the seculars but even behind convent walls. It is true, that a humble garment covers the body, but oh, how much pride is lodged beneath it! Many preach about humility but hardly anyone practices it. It is one thing to have an understanding and a desire for humility but another thing to really have it. We do not know whether we possess the virtue or not because in the long run it is circumstances that show us who we really are. There are two kinds of humility; the humility of the mind and the humility of the will. It is one thing to consider oneself worthy of contempt and debasement; it is another thing to desire to be despised and humbled. The former without the latter has no meaning.

I reflected on whether I have the virtues of humility and could not see it. I only have a desire for humility, not the virtue itself. I know that I am miserable, irritable and very inefficient. I admire the sisters for their patience. They put up with me with so much kindness and explain away even my faults which are so obvious. They surprise me with their attachment to me; I cannot justify it in any way. They do not make me feel proud, neither do they give me any satisfaction, above all, I am not reassured by their praises which I hear sometimes. This canonization of me while I am still alive does not bring me any joy, instead, it makes me smile; in fact, I consider it a special cross from God. What God has in store for me, I do not know, unless that, through this erroneous human opinion, he wants to show me what he would want me to be. I, least among others, can tell whether I am somewhat humble, because I do not have the smallest opportunity to be humbled. Sometimes when a situation occurs, when I feel that I will be embarrassed, I am  extolled all the more.

I supposedly ignore the respect which they show me and all the considerations with which they surround me, but if they would offend me in the smallest way, oh, how they would hurt me. I have experienced that many times but at the moment I do not remember the specifics. If I was really humble, then I would be relieved of this spiritual envy also to which I succumb, because I would understand that I do not deserve what Father is doing for me; it is always too little for me and I desire more. I consider myself to be evil, but I do not want to be treated as such.

That I am not humble is also seen in my lack of simplicity. I am so afraid of any embarrassment that I prefer giving up a duty so that others could take the blame for it and thereby escape the humiliation of showing how inefficient I am. Because of this I often conjure up an excuse for not holding the Chapter because I have nothing original to tell the sisters; because now i depend very much on the knowledge which I get form books and not from the grace of God.

Formerly, I was able to speak well without any preparation and much better than at present. I feel that this is a lack of simplicity and yet even when I am on retreat, I cannot make a resolution in order to correct this lack in me. No matter what I reflect on, I see a lack of humility, even the fear of being embarrassed before Father. I supposedly do not want to show that I am better than what I really am, and yet, outside the confessional, it is difficult for me to admit even the smallest weakness. Therefore I feel that frequent talks with Father will help me to acquire humility and sincerity. I, however, do not have this virtue only as far as people are concerned, but even towards God himself because I never thank him for the graces he sends me and I constantly beg for new ones as if I had the right to them. I realize that I do not behave in the spirit of humility and that I do not even have the courage to make a resolution to correct this because I am convinced that this is where it would stop. Perhaps, God, with his grace, will change my heart and my disposition and Father will direct me how to go about it.