Thought for the Day – 11 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“A single severed glance from our employer or superior, is enough to make us anxious.
If it is accompanied by a word of rebuke, we are thoroughly upset.
Why should this be so?
It is because we are lacking in the fundamental virtue of humility.
We want to keep up appearances and to be held in high regard.
If we are frustrated in this ambition, we suffer inwardly.
All this is quite natural but, on this natural foundation, we must build the virtue of humility and the desire to serve God alone.
If we possess this virtue, we shall continue to be sensitive to insults and humiliations but our suffering will be sanctified and will be meritorious in the sight of God.
We are all pleased when we are praised by others and are hurt when we are criticised because our natural inclinations are never destroyed.
Our sensitivity, however, can be moderated and brought under the control of right reason, whose guide should be the rule of virtue.
It is worth reflecting on what The Imitation of Christ has to say in this regard.
“Whenever a man desires anything inordinately, straight away, he is disquieted within himself.
The proud and the covetous are never at rest; the poor and the humble in spirit, pass their life in abundance of peace.
The man who is not yet perfectly dead to self, is soon tempted and overcome in little and paltry things.
He that is weak in spirit and in a certain manner, as yet carnal and inclined to things of sense, cannot, without difficulty, sever himself wholly from earthly desires.
And, therefore, he is often sad when he does withdraw himself and besides, he is easily moved to anger if anyone thwart him
And, if he has pursued his inclination, forthwith he is burdened with remorse of conscience, for having gone after his passion, which helped him not at all, to the peace he looked for.
It is by resisting the passions, therefore and not by serving them, that true peace of heart is to be found.
Peace, therefore, is not in the heart of the carnal man, nor in the man who is devoted to outward things but, in the fervent and spiritual man” (Bk 1 Ch 6).
“Continual peace dwells with the humble but in the heart of the proud, is frequent envy and indignation” (Ibid Ch 7, V3).