Praising in Action – Humility

Humility

  • Her soul makes nothing apparent other than the truth of God – Mary’s purpose was to magnify God, to make Him known and His doing evident. (Examine our own souls and see what/ who it is that we magnify)
  • To magnify another is to make them more visibly present, to let others see him/her more clearly and at the same time to move out of the way and not cast a shadow over them. We often find ourselves “testifying for God” when in fact we are speaking about what we have done or achieved.

Crying&PrayingonthePew

Humility is the foundation and guardian of all virtues for without it no other virtues can exist in a soul. ~ St. Bernard

Around the time when Mary was of marriageable age, everybody was expecting the Saviour to be born in their home. Mary, humble to the core, used to pray to God, “Lord, make me a servant in the house where your son will be born“. See the depth of that humility and see how that profound humility is rewarded. She who prays to be a servant is made the Mother of God Himself.

God so loves humility that wherever He sees it, He is immediately drawn there. ~ St. Francis de Sales

  • True humility in relation to God is the awareness that ‘I am only a creature who was made not for my own purpose but for His purpose, that my will is subject to His will and my desire too is subject to His‘.
  • Mary recedes into the background during Jesus’ public life, knowing that her son must establish a spiritual family of disciples. At the wedding feast of Cana too, Mary shifts all the attention onto Jesus by telling the servants:”Do whatever He tells you.
  • Mary is mentioned only a few times in the bible while Jesus is mentioned close to or more than 1000 times. It is a sign in itself where Mary’s great humility is revealed, as very little is spoken about her, whereas her son is given much greater importance.
  • Mary deflects all the praise given to her, right back at God, the source of her greatness.
  • There is no thought of self glorification, self pity or self defence, those three arch enemies, hiding within each person, waiting for a moment of weakness to bring about a downfall.
  • Mary goes on to recall the great things God has done for her. It would not take much to say that she did great things and that God helped her do it. But she knows that she can contribute to the salvation of the world not by carrying out her own agenda but by placing herself completely at the disposal of God’s will.

What Mary did in the Magnificat was that she attributed to God’s grace the great thing that was taking place in her and took no credit for herself.

St. Paul teaches us that the first thing that we must do in answer to God’s grace is to give thanks.

“I give thanks to God always for you because of the grace of God”
~ 1 Corinthians 1:4

To give thanks doesn’t mean to pay back a favour or give in exchange the same as one has received. Who could give God something in exchange?

Actually to give thanks means to acknowledge grace not to wish to ransom ourselves or give to God the price of our life.
~ Psalm 49:8

To give thanks means accepting ourselves as debtors, as dependants on God, letting God be God.

  • Humility is then an attitude that reveals not what we want to believe about ourselves, or even a denial of what is rightfully ours. Humility is us seeing ourselves as we truly are – “All men are like grass” (1 Peter 1:24) and yet God finds it worthwhile to be “mindful of us” (Psalms 8:4)
  • To realize our limited ability and the greatness of God causes our praise to be true, undebated in our minds, and gives God His rightful place in our lives to carry out His plans.

Only when we humble ourselves before the Lord can He exalt us
~ James 4:10
After the Son of God, no creature in the world was so exalted as Mary, because no creature in the world ever humbled itself so much as she did.
– St. Bernardine

About Dr. Ehrlson de Sousa

Dr. Ehrlson de Sousa is currently a senior resident doctor in ENT at Goa Medical College. He hails from Porvorim and is an active member of Couples for Christ India, for over 15 years. Apart from writing for medical journals both national and international, his love and reverence for the teachings of the church inspired him to start writing about the catholic faith. His daily bible reflections offer great encouragement in the lives of many people, both young and old. He aspires to be a Saint and enjoys playing chess and table tennis in his free time.

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One Response to Praising in Action – Humility

  1. Brilliant article. Very well written. Liked this point ? ‘ Mary deflects all the praise given to her, right back at God, the source of her greatness.’