Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Humility - The Lessons of St. Francis by John Michael Talbot

In our day of “School Pride,” “Community Pride,” “Gay Pride,” “We’re Number One!” “Self-esteem,” “You’re not the boss of me!” and the like…… one wonders if we even know the word “humility.”

Here are some good quotes from the chapter on humility from John Michael Talbot’s book The Lessons of St. Francis.

St. Elizabeth Seton: The gate of Heaven is very low; only the humble can enter it.

St. Therese of Lisieux: The only way to make rapid progress along the path of divine love is to remain very little and put all our trust in Almighty God.

St. Francis of Assisi: It is not for us to be wise and calculating, in the world’s fashion; we should be guileless, lowly, and pure.

St. Paul: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

St. Augustine: If you should ask me what are the ways of God, I would tell you that the first is humility, the second is humility , and the third is still humility. Not that there are no other precepts to give, but if humility does not precede all that we do, our efforts are fruitless.

Venerable Charles de Foucauld: Father, I abandon myself into Your hands; do with me what You will. I am ready for all; I accept all.

Padre Pio: Satan fears and trembles before humble souls.

St. John Vianney: Pride makes us hate our equals because they are our equals; our inferiors for fear that they may equal us; our superiors because they are above us.

St. Issak of Syria: A humble man is never hurried, hasty or perturbed, but at all times remains calm. …. All his joy and gladness are in what is pleasing to the Lord.

How we treat others is the crucial test of our humility. Are we as glad for others’ successes as we are for our own? Can we share the joy of the joyful? Can we take as much pride in what God does through others as we take in what God does though us? Can we find ways to appreciate others’ giftedness and uniqueness, realizing that their special qualities are in no way criticism of us and the way we live? Talbot says, “One of the first things that St. Francis did when he began his life of faith was to kiss a leper! Who are the lepers in our lives, and how can we kiss them?”

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