Gueranger – humility the basis for all virtue August 4, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Liturgical Year, reading, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
I’m short on time, but Dom Prosper Gueranger, from the 11th Sunday after Pentecost, on the great virtue of humility. Humility is the basis for all virtue, according to the great liturgist. He makes a convincing argument. For me, it is a great reminder that even fighting against the crisis in the Church is not worth falling into pride and losing humility. That’s a constant temptation in blogging and one I pray I do not fall into, at least too often.
“By the Grace of God I am what I am.” The just man should make this language his own, and when this fundamental truth is thoroughly impressed upon his soul, then may he fearlessly add with him: “His grace in me hath not been void.” For humility is based upon truth………and, as it would be contrary to truth were one to refer to man what man has from God, so likewise would it be an injury to truth not to recognize, as the saints did, the works of Grace where God has wrought them. In the former case justice, in the latter gratitude, would be offended, as well as truth. Now, humility, whose direct aim is to avoid these unjust infringements on the glory due to God, by repressing the risings of pride, is also the earnest prompter of gratitude – so truly so, indeed, that a proud man can never be a grateful one, or, to say it in other words, the greatest enemy to the generous virtue of gratitude is pride.
It is quite true that it is good, and prudent, and, generally speaking, necessary, for souls to dwell on the consideration of their faults rather than upon the favors they have received from God, and this more especially in the first beginning of their conversion; still, it is never lawful for any man to forget that, besides being grieved for his past sins and being vigilant as to present temptations, he has also the bounden duty of ceaselessly thanking the divine Benefactor, who gave him both the grace of a change of life and the subsequent progress in virtue. [Indeed! Much of our conversation with God should consist in giving humble thanks for all that He has given us so freely and without our meriting any of it] When a Christian cannot see a grace or any good in himself without having immediately to struggle against self-complacency and a tendency to prefer himself to others, he must not be troubled, of course, for the sin of pride is not in the evil suggestions which may arise within him, but in the consent which is yielded to such suggestions; and yet this weakness which accompanies the thought of God’s graces is not without its dangers in the spiritual life; and the Christian who is resolved on making any advance in perfection must gently endeavor to get altogether rid of such weakness. Aided by Grace, he will gradually find the eye of his soul growing stronger by the infirmity of nature being cured, and by the removal of the involuntary remnants of sin, which, as so many vicious tumors, falsify the beautiful light of God’s gifts, or even sometimes distort it altogether by an unhappy refraction…….
…..It is holy simplicity, daughter and inseparable companion of humility, that will show us how, when a soul is what she should be, these two things coexist, and mutually tell on each other, viz., the close, deliberate consideration of the favors she has received from Heaven, and the clear consciousness of her own miseries. This admirable simplicity will lead us to the school of the Scriptures and of the saints, there to teach us that the soul’s being praised in the Lord, and our glorying in the Lord, is really a giving praise and glory to God Himself. When our Lady declared, in her canticle, that all generations would call her blessed, the divine enthusiasm which was inspiring her was quite as fully the ecstasy of her humility as of her love. The lives of God’s best servants are, at every turn, showing us these sublime transports, wherein they make the Magnificat of their Queen become their own praise to God, magnifying Him for all the great things which He, the mighty One, has vouchsafed to do through their instrumentality………God must not, and shall not, be disappointed in His gifts, either by the self-appropriation of pride, or by the silence of ingratitude.
…….humility, [is that] that indispensable virtue, on which depends not only all progress, but even all security, in the Christian life.
I’ve seen it related, that the interior life works best like this: meekness–>humility–>acceptance of suffering–>charity–>sanctity. You can argue about the order, but almost all solid resources on spirituality tie humility closely to charity and thus, sanctity. Thus, the revolution which afflicted the Church can be viewed as a massive exercise in pride and rejection of humility, since a generation of fallen men took it upon themselves to judge the Faith that had been handed onto them, and found it wanting. Nevertheless, pride, especially secret pride, is probably the greatest trap satan lays for faithful souls.
It is so easy for pride to creep into our thinking, especially when we self-segregate (by great necessity) into a sort of elite within the Church. It is very easy for us to start thinking: “well, at least I’m not one of those modernist/progressive/leftist/post-conciliar types.” If we are blessed to follow a stronger or more authentic practice of the Faith than many do, that is because God has blessed us so abundantly, and those given more are called to a much stricter accounting at their judgment. I don’t want to belabor the point, enough said (and I say this mostly to and for myself. I cast no aspersions).