A Year with the Saints – 6 February


Persons who keep themselves low in their own estimation and love to be considered of little account and despised by others please God in the highest degree; and, therefore, He willingly lowers Himself to them, pours upon them the treasures of His graces, reveals to them His secrets, invites and draws them sweetly to Himself. Thus, the more one lowers and abuses himself before men, the more he rises and becomes great in the sight of God, and the more clearly he will, one day, behold the Divine Essence. – Thomas a Kempis

Saint Gertrude, one day hearing the little bell ring for Communion and not feeling as well prepared as she desired, said to the Lord: “I see that Thou art even now coming to me; but why hast Thou not first adorned my heart with some ornaments of devotion, with which I might be more suitably prepared to come and meet Thee?” But the Lord answered: “Know that sometimes I am more pleased with the virtue of humility than with exterior devotion.”

A Religious, not being able to understand a passage of Holy Scripture, fasted for seven weeks, and not understanding it then resolved to go to another monk and inquire about it. But scarcely had he gone out of his cell when there appeared to him an Angel sent expressly from God, who said to him: “Thy fast has not rendered thee pleasing to God, but rather this humiliation of thine”; and then he solved for him the doubt.

After Tais was converted, she held herself always so low in her own eyes, on account of her past evil life, that she did not dare to utter the holy name of God even in invoking Him, but only said, “My Creator, have mercy on me!” And by this humility, she arrived at such a sublime degree of perfection that when Paul the Simple saw a most beautiful place in Paradise, which he supposed to be intended for Saint Anthony, he was informed that it would be occupied by Tais within a fortnight.

Saint Bonaventure said: “I know a thing to do which will please the Lord. I will consider myself as refuse, I will become intolerable to myself. And when I find myself shamed, degraded, trampled upon and loaded with insults by others, I will rejoice and exult, because of myself I cannot abuse or detest myself as much as I ought. I will call in help from all creatures, desiring to be confounded and punished by them all, because I have despised their Creator. This shall be my dearest treasure – to solicit insults and slights upon myself, to love above all others those who will help me in this, and to abhor all the consolation and honors of the present life. If I do this, I believe it certain that the treasury of Divine Mercy will open above me, miserable and unworthy as I am.”

Saint Francis of Assisi considered himself not only a mere nothing, the greatest sinner in the world, and deserving of Hell, but unworthy even that God should give him a thought. One day while he was speaking in this manner to one of his companions, the latter saw, in spirit, that there was prepared for him in Heaven a seat among the Seraphim.

MLA Citation