A Year with the Saints – 29 February


Humility, to be true, must be always accompanied by charity; that is, loving, seeking, and accepting humiliations to please God, and to become more like Jesus Christ; to do otherwise, would be to practice it in the manner of the heathen. Saint Francis de Sales

It cannot be said that Saint Vincent de Paul was wanting in true humility. However much he did to conceal, abase, humiliate, and render himself despicable in the eyes of the world, allowing no opportunity for humbling himself to pass without accepting it with all willingness and joy, he yet did it all because it expressed the sentiments of his own heart in regard to himself and his nothingness, as well as to act out and imitate the humiliations of the Son of God, Who, as he said one day in a conference, being the brightness of His Father’s glory and the image of His substance, not content with having led a life which might be called a continual humiliation, willed even after His death to remain before our eyes in a state of extreme ignominy, when He hung upon the Cross. Thus the humility of this servant of God was from his heart, and so sincere that it could be read on his brow, in his eyes, and in his whole exterior.

Saint Jerome relates of Saint Paula that when she heard it said that she had become a fool through too much spiritual fervor and that it would be well if a hole were made in her head to give air to her brain, she answered modestly, in the words of the Apostle, “We are fools for Christ’s sake”. She added also that the same thing had happened to Jesus Christ, when His relations wished to confine Him as a madman. Saint Jerome also says that when she received insults, contempt, or ignominy, she never allowed the slightest word of resentment to escape from her lips, but was accustomed in such cases to repeat to herself the words of the psalm: Ego autem quasi surdus non audiebam, et quasi mutus, non aperiens os suum – But I as a deaf man, heard not, and as a dumb man, who opens not his mouth.

MLA Citation