Humility essential further down the path

St John Climachus says, that the devil, who seeks nothing but our destruction, endeavors to set continually our virtues and good actions before our eyes, that so he may make us proud; and that God, on the contrary, who desires only our salvation, gives particular light to his elect, to make them perceive even the least of their imperfections; and hides the favors he bestows on them in such a manner, that often they perceive not when they receive them.  All holy writers teache the same doctrine; and Saint Bernard says, “that it is by a particular disposition of the divine goodness which is pleased to keep us humble, that the greater progress one ordinarily makes in perfection the less he thinks he has made; for when any one is arrived at the highest degree of virtue, God permits that something of the perfection of the lowest should yet remain to be acquired, that he may not think he is advanced so far as he is.” (De quat. mod.oran.)  Thus the comparison which is made between humility and the sun, is a very just one; for as the stars disappear, and hide themselves before the sun, so when humility shines truly in souls, all other virtues hide themselves before it in such manner, that they who are more humble indeed seem to themselves to have no virtue of all….When Moses came down for Mount Sinai, where he had forty days conversed with God face to face, “his countenance shown so bright, that all the children of Israel,” says the scripture, “behold it, and he alone knew not that his face was shining, because of the conversation he had had with the Lord.”  –St Alphonsus Rodriguez ‘The Practice of Christian & Religious Perfection II’


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