Posted by: liturgicalyear | August 30, 2012

Saint John Vianney on Humility

Today is an “ordinary day” on the Church calendar.  Nothing in particular struck me in the daily Mass readings, so I asked the Lord to show me what he has in mind.

In adoration last night I thumbed through my Magnificat and ran across a meditation from St. John Vianney (below), written on his feast day, August 4.  The gospel reading for that day was the story of the beheading of John the Baptist from the gospel of Matthew.  Yesterday was the Memorial of the Passion of St. John the Baptist, and the gospel reading was the story of John the Baptist’s beheading, this time from the gospel of Mark. In St. John Vianney’s meditation, he quotes Saint Augustine whose feast day we celebrated on Tuesday.

Hmmmm… With these scriptural and saintly threads weaving through his words, I conclude this must be the words that God wants for us today.  I pray they bless you as they bless me!

St. John Vianney, St. John the Baptist, and St. Augustine, pray for us!  Anne

Who can contemplate the immensity of a God without humbling himself into the dust at the thought that God created heaven out of nothing, and that with one word he could turn heaven and earth into nothing again?  A God who is so great, and whose power is boundless; a God filled with every perfection; a God with his never-ending eternity, his great justice, his providence, who rules everything so wisely, and looks after everything with such care, and we a mere nothing!

I say: the example of Jesus Christ should make us humble. “When I,” says Saint Augustine, “contemplate a God who, from his Incarnation unto the cross, led only a life filled with abasement and ignominy, ought I to be afraid of humbling myself?  A God seeks abasement.  I, a worm, should exalt myself?  My God, destroy this pride, which separates us so much from Thee!”…

What, then should we conclude from this, dear brethren?  We should daily ask God with our whole hearts for humility, for the grace to know that we are nothing of ourselves, and that our corporal as well as our spiritual welfare proceeds from him alone.  Let us, therefore, practice humility as much as we are able.  There is no virtue more pleasing to God than that of humility, and in possessing it we shall possess all the other virtues.  Even if we are great sinners, we still have the certainty that if we are humble, God will forgive us.  Yes, dear brethren, let us hold fast to this beautiful virtue.  It is that which will unite us to God, which will let us live at peace with our neighbors, which will make our crosses less heavy, which will give us the blessed hope of one day seeing God.  He, himself, tells us this:  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for they shall see God!”  — St. John Vianney (Magnificat, Vol. 14, No. 6, pp. 62-63)


  1. “The vacuum which humiliation makes in us when we receive it rightly is an emptiness which attracts Him irresistibly. He bends over the soul who loves its littleness and nothingness: He bends over it with an unspeakable love.”

    ~ Fr. Jean C. J. d’Elbee

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