Note: Yet another hurricane is threatening, this time it is the Gulf Coast of Florida, but likely coming up to the Carolinas with a great deal of rainfall. Please pray for those in the path of the storm. We offer again our Family Prayer for Protection in Storms.
† . † . †
In this precious month of the Holy Rosary, we offer this brief snippet from a very worthwhile book, “The Admirable Heart of Mary“, in the hope that thinking on these aspects of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will aid your Rosary meditations. I am not able to write more as I would have preferred to do, but hope that by now, you readers will “fill in the blanks” possibly better than I could!
Abyss of Humility
Deep calleth upon deep,
Thy billows are passed o’er me.
In the abyss of my heart,
nothingness beckons to Thee, my love
Look upon my nothingness
And fill my darkness with Thy Light.
The following is from Part 8, Chapter 5
The Humility of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Consider the words of the Holy Ghost: “Deep calleth on deep” (Ps. 41, 8). What do they mean? They mean that the Holy Ghost sets before us the image of a twofold or dual abyss.
The first is the humble heart immersed by profound humility in the realization of its own nothingness, an abyss that engulfs the humble man, preventing him from seeing in himself anything but nothingness and making him love the lowliness and abjection of such nothingness.
The second is the abyss of graces and celestial blessings that every, where surround and accompany the truly humble heart. The first depth calls for the second: “Deep called on deep,” because the prayer of the humble heart has such power with God, that it is always heard. Divine Goodness can refuse it nothing.
It is the profundity that summons and attracts all the graces of Heaven; God showers them into the lowly soul with open hand and without reserve. Humility is the guardian of all other graces and virtues, and they are safe where it abides, according to the words of St. Basil: “Humility is the safe treasury of all virtues.”
All the greatness of the Blessed Virgin was accomplished by the humility of her most holy Heart. From the first to the last moment of her life, her humility never ceased to invoke and draw upon her grace after grace, perfection after perfection, holiness upon holiness, until it brought her to the summit of the grace and holiness that next to that of Christ ever was or shall be greatest among men.
Humility is our Savior’s own spiritual virtue, which He constantly preached by His example and earnestly recommended with the words: “Learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart” (Matt. 11, 29), so can we say that humility is also the most beloved virtue of His dearest Mother. She urges us to practice it by her example.
On its twelve principal manifestations.
The first manifestation was the complete self-annihilation with which she adored God from the very beginning of her life as her Creator and Sovereign Lord.
The second manifestation … was the uneasiness she felt on hearing the salutation of the Angel Gabriel.
“She was troubled at his saying” (Luke 1, 29), because he greeted her as full of grace, as one having the Lord with her in a special manner, and as being blessed among all women. That salutation is what troubles her most humble Heart, which cannot listen to such exalted praises without trembling. (Eudes quotes St. Thomas Aquinas)
The third effect … was that, after hearing St. Gabriel’s proclamation, she answered: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.” Instead of taking pride, she humbled herself, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord.”
St. Bonaventure exclaims: “How wonderfully deep is Mary’s humility! An archangel salutes her; she is called full of grace; she is told the Holy Ghost will overshadow her; she becomes the Mother of God Himself; she is raised above all creatures; she is appointed sovereign Lady of Heaven and earth; and yet instead of becoming filled with pride, she humbles herself most deeply, saying, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord.’
The fourth manifestation of her humility: Her stupendous silence at the Incarnation of the Son of God within her immaculate womb. After she had conceived the Only-begotten Son of God in her blessed womb, she revealed to no one, not even to her spouse St. Joseph, the tremendous mystery which exalted her to the highest pinnacle.
Then, quoting St. Thomas of Villanova, St. John Eudes writes: “The greatest mystery, the most incomparable marvel, has been wrought in thee by the divine power, and thou dost tell no one. No human being knows the vital miracle, so jealously dost thou guard thy secret! Thou dost remain in profound silence, until, in the house of thy cousin Elizabeth, beholding that God Himself has revealed this miracle of miracles, then only dost thou breathe thy blessed silence, and raise to Heaven the sublime canticle of praise and adoration for the author of all these marvels: “My soul doth magnify the Lord.” (Luke 1, 46)
The fifth effect of Mary’s humility was accomplished during her visit to her cousin St. Elizabeth, concerning SL John the Baptist. (Note: This fifth effect seems to have been glossed over by St. John Eudes, but when we consider his words here, immediately following the fourth point, seems to indicate not the Magnificat, which was covered in point four, but the Holy Virgin’s excellent submission to the will of God as she brought Our Lord to St. John, each of them enclosed within their Mothers’ wombs, thus allowing Our Lord to baptize the baptizer himself! In this action Mary demonstrates the action of the priest who allows himself to be the vehicle for Christ’s saving grace as he administers the sacraments.
The sixth effect was manifested in her relationship with St. Joseph, whom she regarded and honored as her husband, not disdaining to serve him, and be subject to his will. What exalts her humility above all admiration is that she prefers to endure an unspeakable humiliation rather than reveal to Joseph the admirable mystery wrought in her by God, and her newly received rank of Mother of the promised Messias.
The seventh effect of the humility of the royal Heart of Mary was revealed at the birth of Her Divine Son in a stable at Bethlehem. . . . being turned away from every house, was obliged to seek the lowly abode of animals. There she brought forth the only Son of God the Father, the King of Glory, the sovereign Lord of all things. And she sustained these humiliations without a complaint and with most perfect humility.
The eighth effect of the admirable humility of the Mother of God became apparent when she subjected herself to the Hebrew law of Purification. (Note: again, St. John Eudes is rather terse, which leaves space for us to turn to Our Lady herself to tell us the rest by means of her Holy Rosary. I also recommend the excellent writings available at The Rosary to the Interior; for the Purification of the Church. I also have written of the Mystery of the Purification in these pages.)
The ninth effect of the humility of the blessed Heart of Our Savior’s Mother was the virtue she practiced during the forty days’ penance of her Divine Son in the desert. Remember what we have said above; namely, that our Savior’s incomparable love for His Blessed Mother made Him desire her to resemble Him as closely as possible, and caused Him to engrave in her Heart a perfect image of all the states and mysteries of His most holy life.
The tenth effect of the humility of Mary’s all-pure Heart became manifest at the wedding of Cana in Galilee, where she obtained from her beloved Son the miracle whereby He changed water into wine. But how did she induce Him to perform that miracle? Was it by exerting her authority as His Mother? By no means. . . she did not even presume to entreat Him, but merely made plain to Him, with the greatest modesty and humility, the need for additional wine. Mary left it entirely to His divine will to act as He thought best.
The eleventh effect of the humility of the admirable Heart of the Mother of Jesus was that she suffered with her beloved Son all the contempt and insults He endured during His public ministry from His enemies. . . She likewise endured with her Son all the indignities and ignominies of His passion when He was treated as a criminal, bound and throttled like a thief, torn with whips, crowned with thorns, reviled by the shocking preference of the mob for Barabbas, and nailed to a Cross between two bandits.
Yes, my Jesus, Thy most worthy Mother bore with Thee all this shame and humiliation! As Thy glory is now her glory, so were Thy ignominies her very own, which she bore with such humility that she never uttered a complaint to God or man. 0 prodigious humility! Most humble Mary, pray to thy dear Son that He may grant us the grace to learn from Himself and from thee how to suffer insults and humiliations patiently and with humility, and never to complain.
The twelfth effect of the humility of the Admirable Heart of Mary is recorded in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles where it is written that, after the Ascension of Christ into Heaven, St. Peter, St. John and the other disciples withdrew to the Cenacle of Jerusalem.
There they remained until the coming of the Holy Ghost, united in prayer with the holy women and Mary, Mother of Jesus, whom St. Luke the Evangelist mentions last, not only after the holy Apostles, but even after the sinner from whom our Savior had driven seven devils. How can it be that she who is the first in dignity, in merit, and in sanctity should be put in the last place?
It is that her most profound humility compelled her scribe, St. Luke, to name her thus in the last place, according to the lowliness of her self- estimation, considering and treating herself as the least and most unworthy of creatures. What peerless humility! (. . . )
0 Queen of the humble, thou seest how remote we are from the practice of true and perfect humility. Obtain from thy beloved Son the pardon of all the sins we have committed against this great virtue; offer to Him thy very humble Heart in reparation and satisfaction for our misdeeds; and entreat Our Lord to grant us the graces we need to enable us to imitate carefully and faithfully the most holy humility of the amiable Heart of Jesus and Mary.
Eudes, St. John. The Admirable Heart of Mary. KIC. Kindle Edition.
† Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
† Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
† Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
† St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
† St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!
~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!