jump to navigation

Ligouri on the Necessity of Humility and Suffering Humiliation As Means of Attaining Sanctity September 28, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, mortification, religious, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
trackback

Some additional excerpts from The True Spouse of Jesus Christ by the great Moral Doctor St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori on the vital role humility, especially in the form of patiently and joyfully bearing humiliations, plays in the process of sanctification/growth in the interior life.

I cut and paste various exerpts from pp. 335-341 below:

Some, says St. Francis of Assisi, imagine that sanctity consists in the recital of many prayers or in the performance of works of penance: but, not understanding the great merit of patience under insult, they cannot bear an injurious word.  You will acquire more merit by meekly receiving an affront than by fasting ten days on bread and water.  It will sometimes happen that a privilege that is refused to you will be conceded to others; that what you say will be treated with contempt, while the words of others are heard with respectful attention; that while the actions of others are the theme of general praise, and they are heaped with honors, you are passed by unnoticed and your whole conduct is made a subject of derision.  If you accept in peace all these humiliations, and if, with a sincere affection, you recommend to God those from whom you receive the least respect, then indeed, as St. Dorotheus says, it will be manifest that you are truly humble. To them you are particularly indebted, since by their reproaches they cure your pride – the most malignant of all diseases that lead to spiritual death.  Because they deem themselves worthy of all honors, the proud convert their humiliations into an occasion of pride.  But because the humble consider themselves deserving only of opprobrium, their humiliations serve to increase their humility.  “That man,” says St. Bernard, ” is truly humble who converts humiliation into humility.”

Voluntary humiliations, such as to serve the sick, to kiss the feet of those who imagine, even unjustly, that we have offended them, and similar acts of humility, are very profitable; but, to embrace with cheerfulness, for the love of Jesus Christ, the humiliations that come from others, such as reproofs, accusations, insults, and derisions, is still more meritorious……..As gold is tried in the fire, so a man’s perfection is proved by humiliation.  St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi used to say that “untried virtue is not virtue.” He who does not suffer contempt with a tranquil mind shall never attain the spirit of perfection…….[Working out our salvation is not easy.  Contrary to American protestant claims of “one and done” conversions, which are so typical of the modern American drive-through convenience mentality, God desires of us a total conversion from our fallen human nature, our endless pride and selfishness, to a being dead to self and living only for God and through His Grace.  This is terribly hard, but God has given us great guides in the Saints to show that it is possible, and, even more, how to do it.  It’s simply a matter of dying to ourselves and living for God through good works done to others. Suffering humiliations tranquilly is a powerful means of dying to self.]

………St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi used to say that crosses and ignominies are the greatest favors that God is accustomed to bestow on his beloved spouses[Once again, contrary to protestant, especially modern American protestantism, which preaches that God just wants to shower ease and wealth and comfort on His chosen ones…….is that what He did to His son?  Is His Son and Our Lady the exemplars par excellence God has given us on both how to live our lives, and what to expect from the world when we live in accord with His Will?  I know even some Catholics who equate being pious with being blessed with happiness, comfort, ease, freedom from illness or financial difficulty, but this is very, very wrong.]

……….The Saints have not been made Saints by applause and honor, but by injuries and insults.  St. Ignatius Martyr, a bishop, and an object of universal esteem and veneration, was sent to Rome as a criminal, and on his way experienced from the soldiers who conducted him nothing but the most barbarous insolence.  In the midst of his suffering and humiliations he joyfully exclaimed: “I now begin to be a disciple of Christ.” I now begin to be a true disciple of my Jesus, who endured so m any ignominies for my sake……

.Let us then be persuaded that to be persecuted in this life confers the highest excellence on the Saints. “And,” says the Apostle, “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (II Tim iii:12). The Redeemer says, “If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (Jn xv:20).

————-End Quote————-

We live in an especially difficult time to acquire the virtue of humility.  More than in any past period, today we have paraded before our eyes constantly, especially if we have not yet destroyed our TVs, powerful images extolling pride and denigrating almost all virtue, but especially humility.  True humility is an almost unknown quantity in our mass media culture, and tranquil acceptance of humiliations is utterly baffling, especially for Americans, who have been taught for decades that having everything the way they want it this instant is a practical constitutional right. Vast numbers of the younger generations coming of age literally have zero conception of what life is like for the vast majority of humanity today, and, even more, the sufferings and privations involved in existence even a few short decades ago in anyplace but America.  Heck, my dad grew up without running water and electricity, and I was born in the 70s!  That just one tiny example.  Wealth, ease, and comfort are in many ways inimical to growth in virtue: and, of course, our task is made even harder still by the crisis in the Church.  It’s a terrible triple whammy.

But God is infinitely greater in his rewards, than what He asks of us in sacrifice.  Those who are able to cooperate with Grace in these increasingly dark times, what great Saints they will be, and what inspirations to future generations!

I pray such Saints may be found from among the readership of this blog.  As for the author, it is best to do as I say, not as I do…….

Advertisements

Comments

1. Baseballmom - September 29, 2017

I always appreciate these excerpts from Liguori- so edifying- thank you. Yes, sanctity is so tough to attain in this American life of ease…

2. Canon212 Update: FrancisVatican Truth Experts Push Speech Control Program – The Stumbling Block - September 29, 2017

[…] ON THE NECESSITY OF HUMILITY AND SUFFERING HUMILIATION AS MEANS OF ATTAINING […]

3. Camper - September 30, 2017

One easy way to win glory would be to evangelize in San Francisco. Just go there with a security detail (!) and start talking about how ugly homosexuality is. Bingo!

4. Mark Docherty - October 2, 2017

Great post, thank you.

Tim - October 2, 2017

Ditto


Sorry comments are closed for this entry

%d bloggers like this: