“WHENEVER WE consider ourselves smarter or better than others, that is the beginning of the end.”
Such deep wisdom in this recent quote from Pope Francis, a pope often misunderstood but, in my estimate, one who is holy, the 112th and last pope described as Peter the Roman in the prophetic list of St. Malachy. (That is, last pope in the 5th Church Age not before the end of the world.)
Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on Saturday to mark the feast day of the Apostles Peter and Paul, Rome’s patron saints. The above quote was his way of encouraging humility among the faithful.
Also, he told Christians to avoid being smug or “lukewarm,” saying such Christians “live by half measures.”
Humility these days has become a very rare virtue. So many want to be House Speaker, mayor, councilor, etc. As many want to be perceived as physically best in beauty contests, intellectually or virtually superior by seeking to win this or that award. In our daily associations, we get deeply hurt when ignored, and feeling sublime when we seemed to have been noticed or, better, functioned as the life of the gathering.
Yes, Facebook has come into the picture, with everyone tempted to bare to the world their best in everything, anything.
Since we are in the “last times,” such forms of self-indulgences, boosted by the new gospel “Learn to Love Yourself,” must have been knitted with human cooptation with the devil in the latter’s last ditch fight for souls.
We must arm ourselves with the words of wisdom bequeathed by saints. Let me quote some.
From St. Padre Pio:
Holiness means living humbly.
You must always humble yourself lovingly before God and before men, because God speaks only to those who are truly humble and He enriches them with His gifts.
As gifts increase in you, let your humility grow, for you must consider that everything is given to you on loan.
We must humble ourselves on seeing how little self-control we have and how much we love comfort and rest. Always keep Jesus before your gaze; He did not come to rest nor to be comfortable either in spiritual or temporal matters, but to fight, to mortify Himself and to die.
The Lord is willing to do great things, but on condition that we are truly humble.
From St. John Paul II whose body was recently found incorrupt:
We need a new apologetic, geared to the needs of today, which keeps in mind that our task is not to win arguments but to win souls… Such an apologetic will need to breathe a spirit of humanity, that humility and compassion which understand the anxieties and questions of people.
From St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta:
If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.” “Humility is the mother of all virtues; purity, charity and obedience. It is in being humble that our love becomes real, devoted and ardent.
Mother Teresa kept a list of ways to cultivate humility for the sisters in her care, as follows: speak as little as possible about yourself; keep busy with your own affairs and not those of others; avoid curiosity (referring to wanting to know things that should not concern you); do not interfere in the affairs of others; accept small irritations with good humor; do not dwell on the faults of others; accept censures even if unmerited; give in to the will of others; accept insults and injuries; accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded; be courteous and delicate even when provoked by someone’ do not seek to be admired and loved; do not protect yourself behind your own dignity; give in, in discussions, even when you are right; choose always the more difficult task.
Whew, Mother Teresa, that’s even worse than Thomas à Kempis. Wow!