"Our wretchedness and our greatness"

“We shall be speaking about humility, for this is the virtue which helps us to recognise, at one and the same time, both our wretchedness and our greatness” (Friends of God, 94).

“In his preaching, Our Lord Jesus Christ very often sets before our eyes the example of his own humility. 'Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart,' so that you and I may know that there is no other way, and that only our sincere recognition of our nothingness is powerful enough to draw divine grace towards us. St Augustine says: 'It was for us that Jesus came to suffer hunger and to be our food, to suffer thirst and to be our drink, to be clothed with our mortality and to clothe us with immortality, to be poor so as to make us rich.'”

Friends of God, 97

“Prayer is the humility of the man who acknowledges his profound wretchedness and the greatness of God. He addresses and adores God as one who expects everything from Him and nothing from himself.

”Faith is the humility of the mind which renounces its own judgment and surrenders to the verdict and authority of the Church.

”Obedience is the humility of the will which subjects itself to the will of another, for God's sake.

”Chastity is the humility of the flesh, which subjects itself to the spirit.

”Exterior mortification is the humility of the senses.

”Penance is the humility of all the passions, immolated to the Lord.

”Humility is truth on the road of the ascetic struggle.”

Furrow, 259

“'God resists the proud, but gives his grace to the humble,' the apostle St Peter teaches. In any age, in any human setting, there is no other way, to live a godly life, than that of humility. Does this mean that God takes pleasure in our humiliation? Not at all. What would he, who created all things and governs them and maintains them in existence, gain from our prostration? God only wants us to be humble and to empty ourselves, so that he can fill us. He wants us not to put obstacles in his way so that — humanly speaking — there will be more room for his grace in our poor hearts. For the God who inspires us to be humble is the same God who 'will refashion the body of our lowliness, conforming it to the body of his glory, by exerting the power by which he is able also to subject all things to himself'. Our Lord makes us his own, he makes us divine with a 'true godliness.'”

Friends of God, 98

“'The greater you are, the more in all things abase yourself, and you shall find favour with God.' If we are humble, God will never abandon us. He humbles the arrogance of the proud, but he saves the humble. He frees the innocent man, who is rescued because his hands are clean. The infinite mercy of Our Lord is not slow in coming to the aid of those who humbly call upon him. And then he acts as he truly is, as God Almighty. Although there may be many dangers, though the soul may feel harassed and find itself surrounded on all sides by the enemies of its salvation, it will not perish. This is not merely something that was true in days gone by. It continues to happen now.”

Friends of God, 104

“Let me remind you that if you are sincere, if you show yourselves as you really are, if you acquire that 'true godliness' by being humble and not proud, then you and I will be safe in any environment. We will always be able to talk of battles won and call ourselves the victors. Ours will be the intimate victories of God's love, which bring peace, understanding and happiness to the soul.”

Friends of God, 106

“Do you want to be daring in a holy way, so that God may act through you? Have recourse to Mary, and she will accompany you along the path of humility, so that, when faced by what to the human mind is impossible, you may be able to answer with a fiat! — be it done!, which unites the earth to Heaven.”

Furrow, 124