Humility of Heart – Reblog

Father Carota has been posting this week about the importance of humility.  These posts really have struck us that humbling ourselves to our Lord is the key to salvation.  It also really takes the pressure off.  There really is nothing more we have to do besides that and God will take care of the rest.  Always practice obedience and humility.

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http://www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com/2015/10/01/humility-of-heart-part-10/

Humility Of Heart Part 10

44. Although sin is in itself a great evil—–in fact the greatest of all evils—–still under a certain form it can prove a food to us if we know how to avail ourselves of it as a means of exercising humility. How many great sinners have become great Saints without having done anything more than keep their sins constantly before their eyes, and humble themselves in shame and confusion before God and their fellowmen!

Those words: “Against Thee only have I sinned,” which David carried in his heart, contributed more than anything else to make him a Saint. And the angelic St. Thomas in explaining the verse of St. Paul to the Romans: [Romans viii, 28] “This is the good that profits them that love God, for when they fall from the love of God by sin they then return to Him more humble and more cautious.” [3 par, qu. lxxxix, art. 2 ad 1]

It is in this that the good and wisdom of God is most admirably set forth, that He offers us a means of sanctifying ourselves through our very miseries, and we shall never be able to make the excuse that we could not become Saints because we committed grave sin, when those very sins might have been the means of sanctifying us by urging us to a deeper humility. How great is God’s mercy in thus giving me the means of sanctifying myself only by remembering that I have sinned and by meditating in the light of holy faith upon what it means to be a sinner!

St. Mary Magdalen did not become holy so much by the tears she shed as by the humility of her heart. Her sanctification began when she first began to be humble in the knowledge of herself and of God. “She knew.” [Luke vii, 37]

She advanced in sanctity as she advanced in humility, for when she did not dare to appear before Jesus Christ she remained behind Him, “and standing behind,” [Luke vii, 38] and she completed her career of sanctity by her humility, for, as St. Gregory says, she did nothing all the rest of her life but meditate upon the great evil she had committed in sinning. “She considered what she had done.” [Hom. 20 in Evang.]

45. When we feel ashamed and disturbed at having fallen into sin, this is but a temptation of the devil, who tries to make use of our distress to draw us perhaps into some graver sin.

The sorrow we feel at having offended God does not distress the soul, but rather leaves it calm and serene, because it is a sorrow united to humility, which brings grace with it; but to be distressed and overwhelmed by sadness—–either from the shame we feel at having committed some disgraceful action, or from a sudden recognition of our liability to fall just when we thought ourselves stronger and more faithful than ever—–is simply pride, which is born of an excessive self-love. We have too good an opinion of ourselves, and this is the reason why we are disturbed when we see our reputation injured by others or diminished by our own actions. If I reflect well whenever I am distressed about my own faults, I shall find that my distress is only due to pride, which persuades me by the subtle artifice of self-love that I am better than the just themselves, of whom it is written: ” A just man shall fall seven times.” [Prov. xxiv, 16]

He who is humble, even though he fall through frailty, soon repents with sorrow, and implores the Divine assistance to help him to amend; nor is he astonished at having fallen, because he knows that of himself he is only capable of evil, and would do far worse if God did not protect Him with His grace. After having sinned it is good to humble oneself before God, and without losing courage to remain in humility so as not to fall again, and to say with David: “I have been humbled, O Lord, exceedingly; quicken Thou me according to Thy word.” [Ps. cxviii, 107] But to afflict ourselves without measure, and to give way to a certain pusillanimous melancholy, which brings us to the verge of despair, is a temptation of pride, insinuated by the devil, of whom it is written, he is king “over all the children of pride.” [Job xli, 25]

46. However upright we may be, we must never be scandalized nor amazed at the conduct of evil-doers, nor consider ourselves better than they, because we do not know what is ordained for them or for us in the supreme dispositions of God, “Who doth great things and unsearchable and wonderful things without number.” [Job v, 9]

When Zaccheus thought only of usury and oppressing the poor, when Magdalen filled Jerusalem with scandal, when Paul cursed and persecuted the Christian religion, who would have imagined that they would ever have become Saints? And on the other hand, who would have believed that Solomon, the oracle of Divine wisdom, would die in the midst of wantonness and idols? That Judas, one of the Apostles, would betray his Divine Master and then give himself up to despair? Or that many holy men advanced in sanctity would have become apostates? These are examples which should make us tremble when we reflect upon the unfathomable mystery of the judgment and mercy of God: “One He putteth down, and another He lifteth up.” [Ps. lxxiv, 8] “He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.” [Luke i, 52]

Every Saint can in a moment become a sinner if he is vain of his sanctity; and a sinner can as quickly become a Saint if he is contrite and humbles himself for his sin. How many there are who in the fervor of their prayer “mount up to the heavens” and soon afterwards, at the slightest occasion of sin, they “go down to the depths”! [Ps. cvi, 26] How many there are too who, given up to vanity and stained with the deepest sins, are suddenly changed by having their eyes opened to the knowledge of the truth and who thus attain to Christian perfection! Indeed the high counsels of God are to be adored and not scrutinized, for “The Lord humbleth and exalteth; He raiseth up the needy from the dust, and lifteth up the poor from the dung-hill. [1 Kings ii, 7, 8]

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The Lost Virtue of Hope

Hope grounded in Christ and his Church is the only way to true peace on this earth. Hope is sincerely lacking in the modern man. If men had hope they wouldn’t be using porn, they wouldn’t be killing themselves at alarming rates, they wouldn’t be abusing their bodies with drugs, etc. . . Hope allows man to see beyond their current problems and refocuses their gaze on the road to salvation which really is all that matters in this world. God is hope.

We also need to as a society, in our high schools and colleges, is teach the virtues to our children. We have lost complete track of them and how they help us live a good Catholic Christian life.

Please read the article below from a Christendom College student, Abigail C. Reimel on the virtue of hope.

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http://www.ignitumtoday.com/2015/07/16/the-necessary-virtue-of-hope/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ignitumtoday%2FsKWO+%28IgnitumToday%29

The Necessary Virtue of Hope

Published on July 16th, 2015 | by Abigail C. Reimel –

During any phase of transition, the importance of the theological virtues of faith and love are always emphasized. One is counseled to have faith that God will bring the best result out of the situation, while being reminded to either love those also struggling or to be very loving to the one who is facing the changes alone. While these are very important pieces of advice, often the incredibly important virtue of hope is lost in the mix.

Hope is of extreme importance in a Christian life, especially when in the middle of difficult or confusing times. Though faith in God can help assuage worry, and love can help overcome the sadness over what is being left behind, hope is the virtue which lifts one out of the situation and anticipate the future with joy. As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote in his beautiful encyclical Spe Salvi, “Only when the future is certain as a positive reality does it become possible to live the present as well” (2).

Because times of change involve many decisions and actively considering all the possible problems to come, a person leans on faith to take care of what he does not have time to consider, and love to help him feel better in the moment. But ultimately it is hope which is needed to reach that interior peace which allows one to look beyond the present pain, to find joy in the struggle, and to muster the strength to reach for the good that is ahead. Through hope one can be at peace about what is to come, and thus handle the immediate concerns with a clear mind.

Through hope, that person can embrace the trials directly in front of him with the attitude which will bring him to more positive endings, and enable him to weather even the hardest storms of life, for the sake of reaching that promise of joy. Whether it is a time of transition, when hope is especially easy to lose but extremely important to have — when so much of life is uncertain and it is hard to grasp onto anything that brings lasting joy — or a time when the state of politics or a more personal grief are weighing heavily and bringing distress, hope is the calm in the storm. Pope Emeritus Benedict the XVI reminds Christians in his encyclical that this necessary hope is imprinted in each one of them, imprinted in the heart of every person, but which Christians have special access to through the Gospels.

“To come to know God — the true God — means to receive hope” (3), the dear Pope counseled the Church. And in these times, it truly is the hope within each Christian heart which slowly but surely transforms the world, by transforming each modern disciple interiorly, enabling each of them to extend the Good News to the lost sheep around them. This hope burns within them because their Shepherd found them first, and wrote a stunning love letter special for them, to encourage them when life is hard by reminding them that there is always a reason to hope, found in Him.

“The one who has hope lives differently; the one who hopes has been granted the gift of new life” (2). This is why converts are always so passionate about their newfound faith, and also why the Catholic Church has stood the test of time: because Christ has lit the fire of hope in the souls of His children, and the joy which has filled them empowers them to face each day’s challenges with grace while ultimately praying for the day when all lives will be joined together in Christ’s New Earth.

And that is why, more personally and immediately, I find myself in need of this missing virtue. For “[m]an’s great, true hope which holds firm in spite of all disappointments can only be God — God who has loved us and who continues to love us ‘to the end,’ until all ‘is accomplished’ (cf. John 13:1 and 19:30)” (27). Often in the midst of transition and trials, I start to rely and look only at myself, when ultimately it is the faith in God that will center me, the love of God that will comfort me, and the hope to be found in Him which will empower me to approach the worst of situations with positivity, while bearing them for the sake of the good to be achieved.

So, with Pope Emeritus Benedict the XVI, through the blessing of our God, I invite you to join me in this journey, to invite hope back into our lives, and rediscover the way God will use it to transform us.