The Virtue of Humility

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Madonna dell'UmiltÓ or Madonna of Humility - by DOMENICO DI BARTOLO - from Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena

The Marian theme depicted here is the Madonna dell'UmiltÓ, or Madonna of Humility. That title has come down to us more or less by accident, thanks to a number of scenes of the Virgin bearing the inscription "Maria dell'UmiltÓ" or some such designation. Here the Virgin is seated not on a Throne, but on a lowly cushion on the ground. It is assumed that all Virgins seated on the ground, with or without a cushion, were regarded at the time as humble Virgins. The first images of the Madonna dell'UmiltÓ, datable around 1300, appeared simultaneously on Altarpieces, Murals and small panels for private devotion. Frescos with the Madonna dell'UmiltÓ were the object of special veneration in northern Italy. In Siena, at the end of the fourteenth century, images of the Madonna dell'UmiltÓ for private devotion were produced en masse.

 

 

Humility is to the Virtues, what the Chain is to the Rosary. Take away the Chain, the Beads are scattered. Remove Humility, all Virtues vanish.

Saint John Vianney

 

The Virtue of Humility

by Saint Clement of Rome,
Church Father

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An Exhortation to Humility

Let us therefore, Brethren, be of Humble Mind, laying aside all Haughtiness, and Pride, and Foolishness, and Angry Feelings. Let us Act according to that which is written: “Let not the Wise Man boast of his Wisdom, nor the Strong Man of his Strength, nor the Rich Man of his Wealth. But let him that boasts, boast in the Lord, in diligently seeking Him, and doing Judgment and Righteousness” (Jeremiah 9:23,24).

 

On Whom He Looks!

Above all remember of the Words of the Lord Jesus: “Be Merciful, that you may obtain Mercy. Forgive, that Forgiveness may be given you. As you do, so shall it be done to you. As you Judge, so shall you be Judged. As you show Kindness, so shall Kindness be shown to you. The measure you give shall be the measure you get” (Matthew 5-7). By these Rules let us establish ourselves, that we walk with all Humility in Obedience to His Holy Words. For the Holy Word says, “On whom shall I look, but on him that is Humble and Gentle and trembles at My Words?” (Isaiah 66:2).

 

Let us Show Kindness to One Another!

It is Right and Holy therefore, Brethren, to Obey God than to follow those who, through Pride and Arrogance, instigate Detestable Jealousy. For we shall incur no slight Injury but rather Great Danger, if we give ourselves over to the purposes of those who aim at exciting Strife and Dissension, so as to draw us away from what is Good. Let us be Kind one to another after the pattern of the Tenderness and Compassion of our Creator. For it is written, “The kind shall inhabit the land, and the innocent shall be left upon it, but transgressors shall be destroyed from upon it” (Proverb 2:21-22). And again, “I saw the ungodly exalted, and lifted up like the Cedars of Lebanon; but I passed by and behold! he was no more; and I sought his place, and could not find it. Preserve Innocence and behold Justice, for there shall be descendants to the peaceful man” (Psalm 37:35-37).

 

Let us Join the Godly

Let us join, then, those who are Peaceable and Godly, and not those who Pretend to desire it. For it says, “This people honors Me with their lips, but their Heart is far from Me” (Isaiah 66:2). And again: “They bless with their mouth, but curse with their Heart” (Psalm 62:4). And again, “They loved Him with their mouth, and lied to Him with their tongue; but their Heart was not right with Him, nor were they Faithful to His Covenant” (Psalm 78:36,37). Therefore, “Let the deceitful lips become silent” (Psalm 31:18). And “let the Lord destroy all the lying lips, and the boastful tongue of those who have said, Let us magnify our tongue; our lips are our own; who is Lord over us? For the oppression of the poor and for the sighing of the needy will I now arise, says the Lord: I will place him in safety; I will deal confidently with him” (Psalm 12:3-5).

 

Christ as an Example of Humility

Christ belongs to those who are Humble, and not to those who Exalt themselves over His Flock. Our Lord Jesus Christ did not come in the Pomp of Pride or Arrogance, although He might have done so, but in a Lowly Condition, as the Holy Spirit had declared regarding Him. He says, “He has no form nor glory. We saw Him, and He had no Form nor Comeliness. He is a Man of stripes and suffering, and acquainted with the endurance of grief: for His Face was turned away; He was despised, and disregarded. He bears our iniquities, and endures our pains; while we considered Him as one subject to trouble and stripes and affliction. But He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we were healed. All we, like sheep, have gone astray; everyone wandered in his own way; and the Lord has delivered Him up for our sins, while He in the midst of His sufferings did not open His mouth. As a sheep He was brought to the slaughter, and as a Lamb before his shearer is dumb, so He did not open His mouth. In His Humiliation His Judgment was taken away; who shall declare His generation? For His Life is taken from the earth” (Isaiah 53). And again He says, “I am a worm, and not man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All who see Me mocked Me. They spoke with their lips; they shook their head, saying: He hoped in God, let Him deliver Him, let Him save Him, since He desires Him” (Psalm 22:6). You see, Beloved, what is the Example which has been given us.

 

Short Meditation on Humility

by Father John Corapi

(Homily starts at the 6 minute mark,
after the Daily Readings)

Links to other Pages on Virtues and Vices

Three (3) Theological Virtues

Four (4) Main Moral Virtues

Faith

Hope

Charity

Prudence

Justice

Temperance

Fortitude

Species of
Faith

Species of
Hope

Species of
Charity

Species of
Prudence

Species of
Justice

Species of
Temperance

Species of
Fortitude

No Species exist for the
Three (3) Theological Virtues

Wisdom Religion
Piety
Gratitude
Liberality
Affability
Abstinence
Sobriety
Chastity
Continence
Humility
Meekness
Modesty

Patience
Munificence
Magnanimity
Perseverance

Vices

Pride Avarice Envy Wrath Lust Gluttony Sloth Inordinate
Self-Love