Feast of St. Nicholas of Tolentino of the Order of St. Augustine
“Where can one find true humbleness of heart? Is it as simple as opening a door for someone else?” – Bilbo Baggins @ Yahoo! Answers
If you were to aspire to reach the summit of the entire edifice of Christian Perfection – the Cross of Calvary which alone eloquently speaks of true charity (to love as God loves) – it is only then that you can find true humility of heart for this is its ultimate foundation: the preliminary and indispensable work, the condition “sine qua non”. And just as digging is no simple task, digging one’s heart could not only be arduous but could rather prove to be a disquieting and agonizing ordeal: for at the end of the pitch-black tunnel is our self – crushed and hurting terribly, and that through all those years we have lived “independently” we even bungled (read: we were wrong!) in nursing it (most often than not, with the varied illusions and delusions of how excellent we are, exaggerating our own worth, as a result making us demanding and pretentious to ourselves and to others). What a terrible “vacuum” one would create in excavating and displacing all of it – crowned with the fact that we have stood wrong even after all our effort to heal and reconstruct our shattered selves – into the hands of God Whose ways we could not even comprehend! But this is the only way the depths of our hearts could be filled, not by any passing creature utterly powerless to do so, but only by that Divine Person Who on the Cross shows us that true “humility keeps us in our own place; that humility is truth: it tends to establish in truth both our intellect – by making us know ourselves as we really are – and so our life, by inclining us to take, in relation to God and to men, our proper place and no other” (Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, C.D., ‘Divine Intimacy,’ 107.1).
True humility does not make us preoccupied with our wounded heart and does not insist upon our brokenness and misery (and of our “broken” view as well of how perfect and happy we could and should have been) as the standard of what is truth and therefore how God and others should deal with, nay more revolve around us. As the Crucified convinces us of this and makes us bow down before Him Who alone understands us and can turn everything into good just at the right time, He, at the same time, provides us the best of opportunities and His own strength to repair and renew us from within – not forgetting that He did not lie lifeless and powerless in the tomb. By letting the Crucified to be God as He Is, He will not fail to make us see, in one way or another, sooner or later, how things in our life turn and go to their proper place. As His face, His love, and His peace find room and shine upon us, then the doors of our heart are thrown open for others who could be more crushed and broken than we had been. And since it is the Crucified Himself reposing in our hearts Who would take care of those who are drawn to Him through us, we shall not delude ourselves and others.
Learn of Me, for I am meek and humble of heart (Mt 11.29).