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§ 1. The Praise of Humility.

OH, how worthy of praise is the virtue of holy humility! I admonish thee, again and again, most especially to cultivate this virtue; for it was this in particular that Christ wished us to learn from Him. He saith: “Learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart ” (St. Matth. xi. 29). This He ever taught, both by word and by example. Wherefore He again speaks thus: “Unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall nut enter into the kingdom 156of heaven ” (St. Matth. xviii. 3). This He most lovingly regarded in His Virgin Mother, as she herself bears witness, saying: “He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid ” (St. Luke i. 48). It is chiefly by this that all the Saints have been and are men after God’s heart. In short, the whole discipline of Christian wisdom is contained in this virtue. If thou dost not desire nor strive to be humble, in vain thou persuadest thyself that thou hast charity, and that a pleasing dwelling may be found in thee for the Holy Spirit, who resteth on none but the humble. Charity is ever joined to humility, and humility to charity; and it is impossible that any one should have charity who is not humble. For, as St. Paul saith: “Charity is not puffed up, is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, but is meek and patient.” Without humility and charity thy works and thy exercises, how great soever they may seem to be, will be rotten and empty. But true humility is to be sought for within the heart. If interior humility be wanting, that which is external is nothing but hypocrisy.

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