100. After Jesus Christ, Who is King of the humble, what a beautiful example of humility we have in the Blessed Virgin Mary who is their Queen! No creature ever surpassed her in merit, or exceeded her in humility. By her humility she deserved to be the Mother of God, and by humility only she maintained the dignity and honour of the sublime Maternity.
Let us picture Mary in her room at Nazareth when it was announced to her by the Archangel Gabriel that the time had come for the Eternal Word to take flesh in her womb, through the operation of the Holy Ghost. She showed no sign of pride at being blest among women and chosen for such a high honour, but on the contrary she was distressed and “was troubled at his saying,” [Luke i, 29] without being able to understand why she was chosen for so great an honour. And what does she exclaim? I,—–the Mother of God! I, a vile creature, to become the Mother of God! I am but His servant, and it would be too much honour for me even to be His handmaid. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord.” [Luke i, 38] Thus Mary humbled herself as much as lay in her power; and she continued in this deep humility all through her life, behaving in all things as the servant of the Lord, without ever attributing to herself the slightest glory for being His Mother. What a beautiful example for us! Therefore if we have devotion to our Lady we ought to try and imitate her in her humility; and in all the prayers, Communions and mortifications that we offer in her honour let us always ask her to obtain for us through her intercession the grace of holy humility. There is no grace that our Blessed Lady asks so willingly of Jesus for her devotees, and which Jesus concedes so willingly to Mary as the grace of humility, since both Jesus and Mary hold this virtue in singular affection.
Let us recommend ourselves to her protection and place all our confidence in her, entreating her for the love she herself bears to humility to grant that we may also become truly humble of heart; and let us not doubt but that our earnest prayers will be heard and our desires granted.
O my soul, it is through humility that we shall reach Paradise. And what shall we do in paradise? There the practice of all other virtues ceases and only charity and humility remain. We shall see God, and in seeing Him we shall know that He is the infinite Good; and this perfect knowledge will bring with it more perfect love, and the more we love God, the better we shall know Him, and the better we know Him, the more humble we shall be, practicing humility through all eternity like the ancients seen in the Apocalypse by the Apostle St. John: “Who fell on their faces and adored God, saying, We give Thee thanks, O Lord God almighty, who art, and who wast, and who art to come.” [Apoc. xi, 17] Let us begin to practice on earth those virtues which we hope to practice for ever and ever through all ages in Heaven: “Our Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross. For which cause God also hath exalted Him, and hath given Him a name which is above all names.” [Phil. ii, 8, 9] “Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man, rescue me from the unjust man.” [Ps. cxxxix, 2] Who is this wicked and unjust man from whom I pray to be delivered? He is my inner self who is all vice, corruption and pride, ahd it is the same as if I were to say: “Deliver me, O Lord, from myself, that is, give me grace to amend and reform myself in order that I may no longer be that earthly, worldly and proud creature which I have been hitherto, dominated by passion, but that I may be renewed, and may conform to the spirit of my humble Lord and Master Jesus Christ.” “Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man; rescue me from the unjust man.”
O GOD, Who resistest the proud and givest Thy grace to the humble, grant us the grace of true humility, of which Thine Only begotten Son showed forth in Himself an example to the faithful, that we may never, puffed up by pride, incur Thine anger, but that, submissive to Thy will, we may receive the gifts of Thy grace.