And Elias, the prophet, stood up, as a fire, and his word burnt like a torch (Ecclesiasticus. 48.1, DRV)

Friday, January 20, 2012

The "Little Way of Spiritual Childhood" of St. Therese: Humility (I)


The first characteristic of a child and that which first strikes us is his littleness. In the supernatural order we must likewise first of all recognize our littleness. Amen I say to you, unless you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven (Mt. 18.3). This is the disposition that characterizes our true condition and puts us in our right place before God. To be little spiritually means to be humble. Littleness, however, implies a certain simplicity, an effective note of self-effacement in a pleasing and gracious manner. 

To a sister who asked Therese what she meant by remaining a little child before God, she answered: "It means that we acknowledge our nothingness, await everything from the good Lord, refuse to attribute to ourselves the virtues we practice, but believe that we are incapable of doing anything that is good." Note how this basic Christian disposition so opposes our response to the modern challenge: "Prove yourself."

It is primarily because humility puts us in our right place, in our true condition, that St. Therese makes humility the basis of her Way - in fact, of an authentic Spiritual Life: "It seems to me that humility is truth. I don't know whether I am humble, but I know I see the truth in all things."

To that first reason she added another, and one that is truly Theresian. It is the fact, namely, that "it is proper to divine love to lower itself; hence, the lower we are, the more we attract God;" on the contrary, when we lift ourselves up we go counter to that movement of love.

Finally, St. Therese practiced humility out of love, to prove her love: 

"To ravish Thee, quite little shall I remain;
Myself forgetting, I'll charm Thy loving Heart."

However, according to her, humility must not consist in the mere acceptance of our state of dependence and incapacity. We must love to see ourselves as we truly are. We must bear the imperfections that are inherent in our nature; be happy to see ever more clearly how wretched  is our condition; we must even will to become ever more little.

To discover those deficiencies in ourselves does not mean that we have created them. They were in us but we had failed to notice them. Our discovery of them has only given us a better understanding of our true condition. Now, the better we know ourselves, accepting to see ourselves as truly are, and the more truthful we are with ourselves, the more pleasing shall we be to God; and we shall also be more ready for the workings of God's merciful love.

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Salvation is in the "Blood of the Lamb"

Apocalypse XIV now unfolding (cf., our posts "The Wine of the Wrath of God" and "After Pope Benedict XVI, the 'Last' Roman Pontiff?"). The divine chastisement of world-wide conflagration (Lk. 17.29-30, cf., our post "Our Lady, Vatican II Disorientation, and the Annihilation of Many Nations") to annihilate the 'super-power' and cities and nations drunk with the wine of its immodesty, impurity, fornication, homosexuality, and blasphemies (Apoc. 14.8) is imminent - the close of our end-times period (distinct from the consummation of the world, Mt. 28.20).

They... have made them white in the Blood of the Lamb
(Apoc. 7.14) ... All things... are cleansed with Blood: and without shedding of Blood there is no remission (Heb. 9.22).

The Blood of the [Divine] Lamb can be availed of in the traditional Rite of the Sacrament of Penance (cf., our post "On Concealing Sins in Confession") and of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist (the Traditional Latin Mass). Go to our traditional Catholic Mass Centers (links on the left-side bar of this site). Flee to the mountains... (Mt. 24.16).

See also the Messages and Appeals (on the upper right-side bar) of the Apocalyptic Woman in her title of Our Lady of Fatima.