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Good morning, By My Side friends.
I hope this Advent season offers special blessings and wonderful graces to you all as you prepare for Jesus’ birthday on December 25. Today I want to share with you a special piece I came across from Fr. John Orban about the virtue of humility.
Gemma Galgani, was born into a loving Catholic family as a devout Catholic. She lost her parents at a very young age and from these two tragedies, came divine encounters with Jesus. She died at age 25 leaving a well documented spiritual life and was declared a saint a few years later. When asked on her deathbed what was the greatest virtue she wholeheartedly said “humility, humility, humility, the foundation of all other virtues.”
Her confessor and biographer Fr. Germanus tells us that people often mistake sainthood with a state of perfection, where someone has been elevated from human to divine. The saints, he says, by drawing closer to God, become more aware of their humanity and their need for deeper conversion. Even as their goal of a perfect union with God will someday be realized, they struggle to live in a world that is less so.
He tells us that humility bridges the gap between our sins and the pleasure of heaven. It’s the manifestation of encountering God’s perfect love that drives them to renounce their own imperfections. We embrace our humanity, as St. Paul says, finding strength in our weakness, transforming what separates us from one another into what unites us with God.
Often we look upon feelings of sin and guilt as examples of religious oppression. We try to deny and repress whatever is unpleasant about ourselves. We try to hide our weaknesses, because we feel that they restrict our freedom – instead of acknowledging, exposing and removing their causes from our lives. Sin deliberately separates ourselves from God and guilt is the feeling of that separation. Humility, is the antidote preventing it’s return.
Jesus is the prime example of humility. He is God living among us, as one of us. Human, is not in a sinful state but in it’s intended state is love seeking its fulfillment in others. Humility helps us to recognize our own faults and failings instead of blaming others. It leads us to be more loving and compassionate with ourselves and in turn with those around us. It says, “Here I am Lord, I need your help”. It helps to find healing, to act justly, love tenderly and to be at peace with God.
Humility is the foundation of prayer, our primary relationship with God. Through prayer, the poor become rich, the foolish become wise, the unjust become just. It puts us in the right position to receive God’s graces – graces that can only be given to us when we are ready to accept them. Humility properly connects us to God.
Jesus reminds us that “he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Being humble isn’t about being humiliated, although it may seem that way to some. Being humble is about being open to the possibilities that love brings when we accept and give it as a gift. A gift that is given without judgment or conditions – because this is how it was given to us.
So, as we approach Christmas Day, perhaps lets consider reflecting upon Jesus, who humbled himself to join us as an innocent baby, born in humble surroundings, so that we may share in the humility of being loved as children of our almighty and eternal God.
May this humility bring you inner peace, great joy and God’s abundant graces this Christmas. Love MJ xo


Program Facilitator

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A program of spiritual friendship and healing for separated and divorced catholics

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