He Became Flesh--For Us!
"He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross" (Philippians 3:8).
At a very tender age, many of us learned the sacred truth undergirding the solemn celebration of Christmas: the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity became incarnate--one of us--to save us from the terrifying sin and everlasting death ushered into our human condition by Original Sin.
The Eternal Son of the Father willingly took on our human flesh. He is Jesus Christ, the God-Man and our long-awaited Redeemer.
There was nothing for the Son to gain for Himself by becoming man. He was already perfect--and perfectly happy. But He obeyed His Beloved Father and came to earth to pull us out of the spiritual misery caused by the disastrous sin of Adam and Eve.
By being miraculously conceived in His Ever-Virgin Mother's chaste womb by the Holy Spirit, Jesus demonstrated His unbounded love for His Father and for us--His needy brothers and sisters.
The virtue of humility was clearly evident in all that Jesus said and did. He came to glorify His Father, not Himself. But in glorifying the Father, Jesus was glorified by His Father!
All disciples of Christ desperately require humility, that resplendent virtue which allows them to see: a.) themselves as the Lord sees them; and b.) their personal part to play in the Kingdom of God.
We must beg from God that authentic humility so that we may be pleasing to Him and more able to do whatever He desires of us.
Cardinal Raphael Merry del Val (1865-1930) was the Papal Secretary of State under Pope Saint Pius X (1903-1914). Born in London of Spanish lineage, this devout and learned priest recited the "Litany of Humility" after he offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
We may benefit greatly from this poignant prayer, which serves as a profound meditation on the splendor and necessity of humility.
O Jesus! meek and humble of Heart, hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, deliver me, Jesus.
That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase, and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
O Mary, my Mother, how greatly I love Thee! And yet, how little is my love! Thou teachest me all that is necessary for me to know, because Thou teachest me what Jesus is for me and what I ought to be for Jesus.
This Christmas, we ask the Prince of Peace to give us the inspiring humility that shone through in His remarkable life and in that of His undefiled Mother. May we be all for the Baby Jesus, knowing that we are and have nothing apart from Him.
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