Humility and confidence
In the Psalm 129 also known as 'De Profundis' or prayer of a sinner trusting in the mercies of God we read: 'Out of the depths I have cried to thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my voice. Let thy ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication. If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities: Lord, who shall stand it. For with thee there is merciful forgiveness: and by reason of thy law, I have waited for thee, O Lord. My soul hath relied on his word: My soul hath hoped in the Lord. From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord. Because with the Lord there is mercy: and with him plentiful redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities. (D-R B). When the Apostles asked Jesus who would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven He answered this way: 'Amen I say to you, unless you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven' (Matt 18:3-4). St Therese therefore says in Novissima Verba: 'to remain little, is to acknowledge one's nothingness and to expect everything from the good God, as the child expects everything from its father...even among the poor, a child, while he is very little, is given everything that is necessary, but when he has grown, his father no longer wants to support him, and says 'Go to work now!...You can rely on yourself.' It is that I might never hear those words that I never wanted to grow up, because I felt incapable of earning my own living: eternal life."In spiritual terms when a soul forgets its nothingness, and relies on its own strength, knowledge, initiative, or virtues, God leaves it to itself, and the failures which follow, the falls, the fruitlessness of its works - all reveal its insufficiency. God does not introduce a soul to a higher spiritual life, nor admits it to deeper intimacy with Himself, as long as it is not completely despoiled of all confidence in itself. St Teresa of Jesus, speaking of difficulties in overcoming the last obstacles to her total conversion says: 'I must have failed to put my whole confidence in His Majesty and to have a complete distrust of myself' (Life, 8). St Therese is convinced that 'what pleases Jesus is to see me love my littleness and poverty, the blind hope that I have in His mercy. This is my only treasure' and 'I admit, O Lord, that I am very weak; I have salutary proof of it every day. But You deign to teach me the knowledge which makes me glory in my infirmities. This is a very great grace, and only in it do I find peace and contentment of heart, for now I understand Your ways: You give as God, but You want humility of heart'. (Letters) (credits: based on 'Divine Intimacy' meditations)
Humility in our falls
It often happens when we try to practice some virtue or execute a good resolution that we fail and feel discouragement - our inner pride is wounded and deceived. This is because we depend upon our own strength. We act by ourselves. In our busy lives we easily forget that all our strength depends on the grace of God. We often forget about Him in times of prosperity, nor do we have recourse to Him when we fail Him. We rely on ourselves and this is not what God wants us to do: 'Woe to him that is alone, for when he falleth, he hath none to lift him up (Eccl 4:10). In our struggle for better, holy life we are in great need of God's help and considering any failure we should remember that God is our merciful and loving Father. He alone can raise us up. St Teresa of Jesus teaches us that our self-knowledge cannot be separated form the knowledge of God when she says: 'The soul must sometimes emerge from self-knowledge and soar aloft in meditation upon the greatness and the majesty of its God. Doing this will help it to realize its own baseness better than thinking of its own nature, and it will be freer form the reptiles which enter the first room, that is, the rooms of self-knowledge' (Int C 1:2). In her 'Way of Perfection' the Saints says: 'True humility, however deep it may be, neither disquiets, nor troubles, nor disturbs the soul; it is accompanied by peace, joy and tranquility....It enlarges it, and makes it fit ti serve God better', whereas 'false humility only disturbs and upsets the mind and troubles the soul, so grievious is it. I think the devil is anxious for us to believe that we are humble and, if he can, he will lead us to distrust God' (Way, 39). Therefore, when we fall into the same imperfections after so many good resolutions; when after many efforts we still so not succeed in correcting certain faults or in overcoming certain difficulties, St Teresa encourages us to have recourse to the infallible remedy of humility that is: 'the ointment for our wounds' (Int C 3:2). After St Therese of Child Jesus we may say: 'Yes, O my God, I am happy to feel little and weak in Your presence, and my heart remains in peace...I am glad to feel so imperfect and to need Your mercy so much! When we calmly accept the humiliation of being imperfect, Your grace, O Lord, returns at once' (Letters, Novissima Verba). (Based on 'Divine Intimacy' Lenten meditations)
To be hidden with Christ in God
Our Lord's interior life was the life of intimacy with the Holy Trinity. His sacred soul was personally united to the Word, unceasingly enjoying the Beatific Vision. It sees the Word, the subject of His activity, it sees the Father, the cause of its Being and it sees the Holy Spirit, who dwells in it as 'His chosen temple' and who, by covering it with the flame of His love, draws it toward God in perfect accomplishment of His will. Exteriorly, Jesus lives among men, deals with them as one of them, but His real life, His existence as the Son of God, is lived hidden from all human sight, with the Trinity and in the Trinity. The imitation of Jesus' hidden life has for its ultimate end the participation in His interior life; that is, to be hidden 'with Christ in God' - in order to enter with Him the sanctuary of the Most Holy Trinity. St Teresa Margaret expressed this in her ardent desire to 'emulate by faith insofar as it is possible for a creature, the hidden, interior life and activity of the intellect and will of the sacred humanity of Jesus Christ, hypostatically united to the Word' (Spirituality of St Teresa Margaret of the Heart of Jesus). The practice of the hidden life, which St Teresa Margaret perfected, has two aspects. First consists in dying to glory and worldly honours, whereas the second, consists in concentrating entirely on God in a life of relation with Him. The more the soul is able to hide from creatures, the more it is capable to live 'with Christ in God' - as St Paul beautifully expressed, saying: "You are dead [to the world] and your life is hidden with Christ in God"(Col 3:3). The more we are detached from worldly honours, fame, earthly glory and esteem the more we become close to God. Our Lord is the best example: "When the people, therefore, had seen the sign which Jesus had worked, they said, "This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world." So when Jesus perceived that they would come to take him by force and make Him a king, he fled again to the mountain, himself alone (John 6:14-15).
"My God, I desire to enclose myself forever within Your most loving Heart, as in a desert, so that in You, with You, and for You I may live a hidden life of love and sacrifice" " O Jesus,...since You inspire me to become as much as possible like, all my efforts will tend toward that end. I shall imitate You especially in those virtues which are most pleasing to Your most lovable Heart - humility and purity of intention, interior as well exterior - always working with a spirit of simplicity" (Spirituality of St Teresa Margaret).