Our First Duty Is to Adore God with Great Humility October 14, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Eucharist, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Liturgical Year, sanctity, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
I’m continuing to wrap up The Liturgical Year. It may happen sooner than I thought, I might be done before this month is over.
At any rate, I found some catechesis from Vol III Christmas Book II pp. 16-7 that I thought was edifying and helpful. Pray you shall agree with my assessment, it concerns our need to adore God first, before all else (which is shown, among other ways, through our conformity to the moral law) but to do so with great humility. Our “successes” are not our own. If we make progress, if we grow in holiness, the best we are doing is cooperating with Grace, and sometimes we’re actually fighting Grace more than cooperating with it:
The first of our duties to our Savior is Adoration. Adoration is Religion’s first act; but there is something in the Mystery of Our Lord’s Birth which seems to make this duty doubly necessary. In Heaven the angels veil their faces, and prostrate themselves before the throne of Jehovah; the four and twenty elders are for ever casting their crowns before the throne (Apoc iv:10)of the Lamb; what, then, shall we do – we who are sinners, and unworthy members of the Tribe of the Redeemer – now that this same great God shows Himself to us, humbled for our sakes, and stript of all His glory? Now that the duties of the creature to His Creator are fulfilled by the Creator Himself? Now that the eternal God bows down not only before the Sovereign Majesty of the Godhead, but even before sinful man, His creature?
Let us endeavor to make by our profound adorations, some return to the God Who thus humbles Himself for us; let us thus give Him back some little of that whereof He has deprived Himself our of love for us, and in obedience to the Will of His Father? It is incumbent on us to emulate, as far as possible, the sentiments of the Angels in Heaven, and never to approach the Divine Infant without bringing with us the incense of our soul’s adoration, the protestation of our own extreme unworthiness, and lastly, the homage of our whole being. All this is due to the infinite Majesty of the Babe of Bethlehem, who is the more worthy of every tribute we can pay Him, because He has made Himself thus little for our sakes. Unhappy we, if the apparent weakness of the Divine Child, or the familiarity with which He is ready to caress us, should make us negligent in this our first duty, or forget what he is, and what we are!
The example of His Blessed Mother will teach us to be thus humble. Mary was humble in the presence of her God, even before she became His Mother; but, once His Mother, she comported herself before Him Who was her God and her Child with greater humility than ever. We too, poor sinners, sinners so long and so often, we must adore with all the power of our soul Him Who has come down so low; we must study to find out how by our self-humiliation to make Him amends for this Crib, these swathing bands, this eclipse of His glory. And yet all our humiliations will never bring us so low as that we shall be on a level with His lowliness. No; only God could reach the humiliations of God.
To expand on the point touched on in my intro, how do we show our love to God? Do we do it better by words, or by actions? What did Our Lord have to say? He told us repeatedly that it was our actions that would lead to our salvation, much more than our words. In fact, He frequently criticized the Pharisees for their many failures of action in spite of many golden words that fell from their tongues.
The prerequisite for works of charity is conducting our lives in accord with the moral law. If we are sinning, especially mortally, God forbid, we are not in the state of Grace and none of our works of charity, none of our praise of God, none of our sacrifices outside sin matter a whit. Works only accrue salvific Grace when they are done in the State of Grace. We can even grievously offend God by performing works normally pleasing to Him if we do them in a state of mortal sin, such as reception of the Blessed Sacrament.
Sorry if this little addition seems obvious. To far too many people, it is anything but.