A Year with the Saints – 24 February


In my opinion, we shall never acquire true humility unless we raise our eyes to behold God. Looking upon His greatness, the soul sees better her own littleness; beholding His purity, she is the more aware of her own uncleanness; considering His patience, she feels how far she is from being patient; in fine, turning her glance upon the Divine perfections, she discovers in herself so many imperfections that she would gladly close her eyes to them. Saint Teresa of Avila

This was, in truth, one of the principal fountains from which Saint Vincent de Paul drew that humble opinion which he had of himself, as well as his great desire for humiliations. That is to say, he derived them from the profound knowledge which he had of the infinite perfections of God, and of the extreme weakness and misery of creatures; so that he thought it a manifest injustice not to humiliate himself always and in all things. In a conference one day with his priests, he spoke thus: “In truth, if each of us will give his attention to knowing himself well before God, he will find it to be the most just and reasonable thing to despise and humble himself. For, if we seriously consider the natural and continual inclination we have to evil, our natural incapacity for good, and the experience we all have had that even when we think we have succeeded well in something and that our plans are wise, the matter often turns out quite different from our anticipations, and God permits us to be considered wanting in judgment; and that, finally, in all we think, say, or do, both in substance and circumstances, we are always filled and encompassed with motives for humiliation and confusion – how shall we not consider ourselves worthy to be repulsed and despised in reflecting upon such things, and in seeing ourselves so far from the holiness and sublime perfections of God, and from the marvellous operations of His grace, and from the life of Christ our Lord?”

MLA Citation