Love does not Put-on Airs
by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Proud Persons are like Balloons, filled-with Air. They 'Act' Important, but in-Reality, they are nothing more than Hot Air, which 'Escapes' as-soon-as the Balloon is 'Pierced'. Those who Love God are Humble, and are not Deceived-by their own-Qualities, because they Know-that whatever they Possess, is a Gift-of-God. They Realize that without God, they are only Nothingness and Sin. This Awareness-of the Divine Action, Humbles them even-more, and it makes them Mindful-of being Unworthy, and yet Favored-by God.
Two (2) Basics are Essential-to the Stability-of a House: the 'Foundation', and the 'Roof'. Our Spiritual 'Foundation', consists-of Humility, as it 'Recognizes' our own Unworthiness; and the Spiritual 'Roof' is the Assistance-of-God, in-which we Place all our Confidence.
Extraordinary Blessings from God, Call-for added Humility, on our Part. When Saint Teresa received any Special Favor, she Called-to Mind, all the Faults she had ever Committed; and because of this, the Lord 'Drew' her into even closer-Union (1), with Himself. The more we 'Admit' our Unworthiness, in the Eyes-of the Lord, the more He 'Enriches' us with His Graces. A Single (1) Act-of-Humility, is Worth more-than, all the Wealth-of the Universe.
If we Hope-to 'Persevere' in God's Grace until Death, we must Place our Confidence-in God alone. The Proud 'Fall', because they Rely-on their own Strength; but the Humble, by-Placing all their Trust in God alone, 'Stand Firm', and do not Fall, because they continually-Remind themselves: "I can do all these things in Him, Who Strengtheneth me" - Philippians 4:13. We should Continually, even to the very Last Moments-of our Lives, 'Question' our own Strength, and 'Place' all our Confidence in-God, always Begging Him, to-Give us Humility.
But, in-order-to be Humble, it is not enough to have a Low Opinion-of ourselves, and to-Consider ourselves the Miserable Beings that we really are. Those who consider themselves the Greatest Sinners in the World, and then are Angry, when others Despise them, Clearly do not show Humility-of the Heart. "Learn of Me, because I am Meek, and Humble of Heart: and you shall find Rest, to your Souls" - Matthew 11:29. Saint-Thomas-Aquinas tells us, that Persons who Resent being Slighted, can be Certain-that they are very Far from Sanctity, even if they 'Work' Miracles.
It is Impossible-for us, not to-Accept Contempt, if we Love Jesus Christ, and see how He Suffered in His Passion. This is why our Redeemer wants us to-keep His Image, Present-on our Altars, not in the Glory-of-the-Resurrection, but in the Ignominy-of-the-Cross. It is this Sight, that makes the Saints Rejoice-at being Held in-Contempt, by the World.
If certain Persons - Pretending-to Live Spiritually ─ Pray, Communicate Frequently, Fast, and Practice Mortification, and yet Refuse-to put-up-with a Cutting Word, of-what is this an Indication? It is a Sign that they are without-Humility and without-Virtue.
What Scandal it is, to see People who Communicate Frequently, and yet Appear-to Resent every little Unkind Remark, made about them! Picture, on-the-other-hand, the Good that is Accomplished-by those who Answer with-Kindness, to-Unkind Remarks. The Lord 'Proves' the Worth-of His Faithful Servants, by Trials-of this Kind, to-see-if they have Learned-to 'Overcome' themselves, and to-Keep their Peace. Nature, indeed, will sometimes Rebel, but therein, 'Lies' the Merit.
Those who are Really Humble, never-Think that they are Humiliated, as-much-as they Deserve. Those who Share this Disposition, are called "Blessed" by Jesus Christ, Rather-than those who are Honored-in this World, and are 'Praised' as 'Learned' and 'Powerful'. This Honor is Reserved-for those who are Persecuted and Reviled, because their Reward will be Great-in Heaven (see Matthew 5:11-12).
Blessed are ye, when they shall Revile you, and Persecute you, and Speak all that is Evil against you, Untruly, for My Sake. Be Glad and Rejoice, for your Reward is very Great in Heaven. For so they Persecuted the Prophets, that were before you. - (Matthew 5:11-12)
A Good Opportunity for-Practicing Humility is Offered us, when we are Corrected-for some Fault. Certain Persons are like Porcupines: They seem Calm, as-long-as they are Untouched, but no-sooner does someone 'Touch' them, with a Remark-about something they have not Done Well, and Instantly, they become All-Needles! They Answer Heatedly, that such is not the Case. They 'Behave' like Persons, who 'Scream' at a Surgeon, who Causes them Pain, while 'Treating' their Wound.
When Truly Humble Persons, are Corrected-for their Faults, says Saint-John-Chrysostom, they 'Show' sincere-Sorrow. When Proud Persons 'Receive' Correction, they also 'Show' Sorrow, but they Grieve only because, their Faults have been 'Detected'.
Saint Teresa tells us that sometimes we 'Make' more Progress, by-'Resisting' the Impulse to-'Excuse' Ourselves, than-by 'Listening'-to Ten (10) Sermons, because by not 'Excusing' Ourselves, we 'Exercise' Freedom-of-Spirit, heedless-of what the World, 'Thinks'-of us.
"O my God, make me a Saint"
Saint Alphonsus Mary Liguori
Thank you for sharing . Much is stated here and I will be rereading these words over and over again. This will be shared with family and friends.
Lord, make me humble.
St. Alphonsus Mary Liguori, pray for us.
St. Alphonsus always goes right to the heart of matters, and makes everything so clear. He is one of my very favorite spiritual writers. Thank you so much for posting this, DM!