Humility – Fourteenth Day of February
“He that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” — St. Luke 14:11
Vain complacency, and the desire that others would speak of us and praise us, is an evil which makes us forget God and spoils our holiest actions. There is no vice more pernicious to those who would make any progress in the spiritual life. — St. Vincent de Paul.
From his earliest years, St. Thomas Aquinas abhorred praise. He was never heard to speak one word that showed he sought the esteem of creatures. He acknowledged one day to a religious that, with God’s grace, he had never been tempted to pride. St. Vincent de Paul had taken the resolution that never without necessity would he speak of anything that might attract esteem. Travelling one day with three priests, he related to them some interesting events that had happened to him; but in the middle of the narrative, when they were most entertained, he was seen to strike his breast and heard to say that he was a miserable sinner, full of pride and always speaking of himself. The priests having reached their destination, he threw himself on his knees before them, and begged pardon for the bad example he had given them.
O humble Jesus, my adorable Master, give me indifference for the esteem of men, a horror of their praise, love for humiliations and contempt. Grant that I may love to be unknown, forgotten, covered with disgrace for Thy sake. Never permit me to speak to my advantage, nor be governed by vanity, nor listen to self-love. Give me true humility, a profound humility of heart.