Thought for the Day – 17 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Humility of Mary
“O Holy Mary, you were humble in life, even though you were the Mother of God. Obtain for me too, the difficult virtue of humility. I know that it is the basis of all the virtues and draws the grace of God. You see how much I need to be humble. Grant that God may be the centre of my mind and of my heart. Grant that His glory may be, the object of all my actions and desires and the chief purpose of my life. Amen.”
Quote/s of the Day – 17 July – The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost – The Humility of Mary
“True humility scarcely ever utters words of humility.”
“Humility, makes our lives acceptable to God, meekness, makes us acceptable to men.”
“Humility is not just about self-mistrust but about the entrusting of ourselves to God. Distrusting ourselves and our own strength produces trust in God and from that trust, generosity of soul is born.”
The most holy Virgin, Our Lady, gave us an outstanding example of this when she spoke these words: “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). When she said she was the handmaid of the Lord, she was performing the greatest act of humility it is possible to do and, all the more so, in that she was contradicting the praise given her by the angel – that she would be mother of God, t hat the child to be born from her womb would be called Son of the Most High, a greater dignity than any we might imagine – I say, she opposed her lowliness and unworthiness to all these praises and greatness, by saying t hat she was the handmaid of the Lord.”
One Minute Reflection – 17 July – “The Month of the Precious Blood” – The Humility of Mary – Romans 6:3-11, Mark 8:1-9
“If I send them away to their homes fasting, they will faint on the way,” – Mark 8:3
REFLECTION – “Lord Jesus, how well I know You have no wish to allow these people here with me, to remain hungry but to feed them with the food You distribute and so, strengthened with Your food, they will have no fear of collapsing from hunger. I know, too that You have no wish to send us away hungry, either… As You have said: you do not wish them to collapse on the way, meaning, to collapse in the byways of this life, before reaching the end of the road, before coming to the Father and understanding, that You come from the Father…
Our Lord takes pity, then, so that none may collapse along the way… Just as He makes it rain on the just, as well as the unjust, (Mt 5,45) so He feeds the just ,as well as the unjust. Was it not thanks to the strength of the food that the holy prophet Elijah, when he was collapsing on the way, was able to walk for forty days? (1Kgs 19,8). It was an Angel who gave that food to him but, in your case, it is Christ Himself Who feeds you. If you preserve the food you have received in this way, then you will walk, not forty days and forty nights… but for forty years, from your departure from the borders of Egypt, to your arrival in the land of plenty, the land where milk and honey flow (Ex 3,8)…
And so, Christ shares out the foodstuffs and, there is no question, he wants to give it to all. He withholds it from no-one, for He provides for everyone. Nevertheless, when He breaks the loaves and gives them to the disciples, unless you hold out your hands to receive your portion, you will collapse along the way… This bread that Jesus breaks, is the Mystery of the Word of God: it increases as it is distributed. With only a few words, Jesus has provided abundant nourishment for all peoples. He has given us His Words as bread and, while we are tasting them, they increase in our mouths… Even as the crowds are eating, the pieces increase and become more numerous, to such an extent that, in the end, the leftovers are even more plentiful than the loaves that were shared.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan, Father and Doctor of the Church (Commentary on the Gospel of Saint Luke VI, 73-88).
PRAYER – Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, unto all Thy servants, that they may remain continually in the enjoyment of soundness both of mind and body and, by the glorious intercession of the Blessed Mary, always a Virgin, maybe delivered from present sadness and enter into the joy of Thine eternal gladness.ThroughJesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).
Our Morning Offering – 17 July – The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost – The Humility of Mary
Make Me Like Yourself, Mary My Mother By St Louis-Marie de Montfort (1673-1716)
My powerful Queen, you are all mine, through your mercy and I am all yours. Take away from me, all that may displease God and cultivate in me, all that is pleasing to Him. May the light of your faith, dispel the darkness of my mind, your deep humility, take the place of my pride, your continual sight of God, fill my memory, with His Presence. May the love of your heart inflame the lukewarmness, of mine. May your virtues, take the place of my sins. May your merits, be my enrichment and make up for all which is wanting in me, before God. My beloved Mother, grant that I may have, no other spirit but your spirit, to know Jesus Christ and His Divine Will and to praise and glorify the Lord, that I may love God, with burning love like yours. Amen
By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor of the Church The Humility of Mary Excerpt from: “The Glories of Mary”
“Humility” says St. Bernard, “is the foundation and guardian of virtues” and with reason, for without it, no other virtue can exist in a soul. Should she possess all virtues, all will depart when humility is gone. But, on the other hand, as St Francis de Sales wrote to St Jane Frances de Chantal, “God so loves humility, that whenever He sees it, He is immediately drawn there.” This beautiful and so necessary virtue, was unknown in the world but the Son of God Himself came upon the earth, to teach it by His Own example and willed that in that virtue, in particular, we should endeavour to imitate Him – “Learn of Me, for I am meek and humble of heart.”
Mary, being the first and most perfect disciple of Jesus Christ, in the practice of all virtues, was the first also in that of humility and by it, merited to be exalted above all creatures. It was revealed to St. Matilda that the first virtue in which the Blessed Mother particularly exercised herself, from her very childhood, was that of humility.
The first effect of humility of heart is a lowly opinion of ourselves: – “Mary had always so humble an opinion of herself, that,” as it was revealed to the same St Matilda, “although she saw herself enriched with greater graces, than all other creatures, she never preferred herself to anyone.” The Abbot Rupert, explaining the passage of the Sacred Canticles, Thou hast wounded my heart, my sister, my spouse, …with one hair of thy neck, [Cant. 4:9] says, that the humble opinion, which Mary had of herself, was precisely that hair of the Spouse’s neck, with which she wounded the heart of God.” Not indeed that Mary considered herself a sinner: for humility is truth, as St Teresa remarks and Mary knew that she had never offended God: nor was it that she did not acknowledge that she had received greater graces from God, than all other creatures; for a humble heart always acknowledges the special favours of the Lord, to humble herself the more but the Divine Mother, by the greater light wherewith she knew the infinite greatness and goodness of God, also knew, her own nothingness and, therefore, more than all others, humbled herself, saying with the Sacred Spouse – Do not consider that I am brown, because the sun hath altered my colour. [Cant. 1:5] That is, as St Bernard explains it, “When I approach Him, I find myself black.” “
Yes,” says St Bernardine, for “the Blessed Virgin had always the majesty of God and her own nothingness, present to her mind.” As a beggar, when clothed with a rich garment, which has been bestowed upon her, does not pride herself on it, in the presence of the giver but is rather humbled, being reminded thereby, of her own poverty, so also, the more Mary saw herself enriched, the more did she humble herself, remembering that all was God’s gift; whence she herself told St Elizabeth of Hungary, that “she might rest assured that she looked upon herself, as most vile and unworthy of God’s grace.” Therefore, St Bernardine says, that “after the Son of God, no creature in the world was so exalted as Mary because, no creature in the world ever humbled itself, as much as she did.”
Moreover, it is an act of humility to conceal heavenly gifts. Mary wished to conceal from St Joseph, the great favour whereby she had become the Mother of God, although it seemed necessary to make it known to him, if only to remove from the mind of her poor spouse, any suspicions as to her virtue, which he might have entertained on seeing her pregnant: or, at least the perplexity, in which it indeed threw him: for St. Joseph,, on the one hand, unwilling to doubt Mary’s chastity and on the other, ignorant of the Mystery, was minded to put her away privately. [Matt. 1:19] This he would have done, had not the Angel revealed to him that his Spouse was pregnant by the operation of the Holy Ghost.
Again, a soul that is truly humble refuses her own praise and should praises be bestowed on her, she refers them all to God. Behold, Mary is disturbed at hearing herself praised by St Gabriel and when St Elizabeth said, Blessed art thou among women … and whence is this to me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? … blessed art thou that hast believed, [ Luke 1:42] Mary referred all to God, and answered in that humble Canticle, My soul doth magnify the Lord, [Ibid., 46-47] as if she had said: “Thou dost praise me, Elizabeth but I praise the Lord, to Whom alone honour is due, thou wonders that I should come to thee and I wonder at the Divine Goodness in which alone my spirit exults” and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.Thou praisest me because I have believed; I praise my God because He hath been pleased to exalt my nothingness: because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid. Hence Mary said to St Bridget: “I humbled myself so much and thereby, merited so great a grace because I though, and knew, that of myself I possessed nothing. For this same reason I did not desire to be praised, I only desired that praises should be given to the Creator and Giver of all.” Wherefore, an ancient author, speaking of the humility of Mary, says: “O truly blessed humility, which hath given God to men, opened Heaven and delivered souls from Hell.“
It is also a part of humility to serve others. Mary did not refuse to go and serve Elizabeth for three months. Hence St Bernard says, “Elizabeth wondered that Mary should have come to visit her but that which is still more admirable, is that she came, not to be ministered to but to minister.”
Those who are humble are retiring and choose the last places and, therefore, Mary, remarks St Bernard, when her Son was preaching in a house, as it is related by St Matthew, [12:46], wishing to speak to Him, would not, of her own accord, enter but “remained outside and did not avail herself of her maternal authority to interrupt Him.” For the same reason, when she was with the Apostles awaiting the coming of the Holy Ghost, she took the lowest place, as St Luke relates, All these were persevering with one mind in prayer, with the women, and Mary, the Mother of Jesus. [Acts 1:14] Not that St Luke was ignorant of the Divine Mother’s merits, on account of which, he should have named her in the first place but because she had taken the last place amongst the Apostles and women and, therefore, he described them all, as an author remarks, in the order in which they were. Hence St. Bernard says, “Justly has the last become the first, who being the first of all became the last.”
In fine, those who are humble, love to be contemned, therefore, we do not read that Mary showed herself in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, when her Son was received by the people with so much honour but, on the other hand, at the Death of her Son, she did not shrink from appearing on Calvary, through fear of the dishonour which would accrue to her, when it was known that she was the Mother of Him Who was condemned to die an infamous death, as a criminal. Therefore, she said to St Bridget, “What is more humbling than to be called a fool, to be in want of all things and to believe one’s self, the most unworthy of all? Such, O daughter, was my humility, this was my joy, this was all my desire, with which I thought how to please my Son alone.”
The Venerable Sister Paula of Foligno was given to understand, in an ecstasy, how great was the humility of our Blessed Lady and giving an account of it to her Confessor, she was so filled with astonishment at its greatness that she could only exclaim, “O, the humility of the Blessed Virgin! O, Father, the humility of the Blessed Virgin, how great was the humility of the Blessed Virgin! In the world there is no such thing as humility, not even in its lowest degree, when you see the humility of Mary.” On another occasion our Lord showed St Bridget two ladies. The one was all pomp and vanity. “She,” He said, “is Pride but the other one, whom you see with her head bent down, courteous towards all, having God alone in her mind and considering herself as no -ne, is Humility: her name is Mary.” Hereby God was pleased to make known to us that the humility of His Blessed Mother, was such that she was humility itself.
Then, O my Queen, I can never be really thy child, unless I am humble but dost thou not see that my sins, after having rendered me ungrateful to my Lord, have also made me proud? O my Mother, do thou supply a remedy. By the merit of thy humilit, obtain that I may be truly humble and thus become thy child, Amen.
Martyrs of Compiegne (16 Carmelite Beati): Sixteen Blessed Teresian Martyrs of Compiègne. Eleven Discalced Carmelite nuns, three lay sisters and two lay women servants who were Martyred together in the French Revolution. They were the earliest martyrs of the French Revolution that have been recognised. • Angelique Roussel • Anne Pelras • Anne-Marie-Madeleine Thouret • Catherine Soiron • élisabeth-Julitte Vérolot • Marie Dufour • Marie Hanniset • Marie-Anne Piedcourt • Marie-Anne-Françoise Brideau • Marie-Claude-Cyprienne Brard • Marie-Françoise de Croissy • Marie-Gabrielle Trezel • Marie-Geneviève Meunier • Marie-Madeleine-Claudine Lidoine • Rose-Chretien de Neuville • Thérèse Soiron • They were guillotined on 17 July 1794 at the Place du Trône Renversé (modern Place de la Nation) in Paris, France. The 16 Martyrs Story: https://anastpaul.com/2017/07/17/saints-of-the-day-17-july-the-carmelite-martyrs-of-compiegne-o-c-d/
Bl Arnold of Himmerod Bl Bénigne Bl Biagio of the Incarnation
Bl Carlos de Dios Murias OFM Conv (1945-1976) Priest Martyr St Clement of Ohrid St Cynllo St Ennodius of Pavia St Fredegand of Kerkelodor St Generosus St Gorazd St Hyacinth of Amastris St Kenelm St Pope Leo IV St Marcellina St Nerses Lambronazi Bl Sebastian of the Holy Spirit Bl Tarsykia Matskiv St Theodosius of Auxerre St Theodota of Constantinople St Turninus
Martyrs of Scillium (12 Saints): A group of twelve Christians Martyred together, the final deaths in the persecutions of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Upon their conviction for the crime of being Christians, the group was offered 30 days to reconsider their allegiance to the faith; they all declined. Their official Acta still exist. Their names : • Acyllinus • Cythinus • Donata • Felix • Generosa • Januaria • Laetantius • Narzales • Secunda • Speratus • Vestina • Veturius They were beheaded on 17 July 180 in Scillium, Numidia (in North Africa).