All the gifts that we possess come from God; by ourselves we are nothing. This is humility and the first great lesson that Mary teaches us. St. Augustine states that never did he meet a pagan who possessed the virtue of humility. The reason is that this virtue is only possible by a supernatural grace.
When Mary received the message that God had chosen Her as the tabernacle for His Son, She expressed surprise. She felt unworthy. Upon receiving the assurance that the Holy Spirit would come upon Her, She humbly declared Herself to be the “handmaid of the Lord”. She saw nothing in Herself except the presence of God’s grace, and the wondrous blessings He had lavished upon Her, and thanked Him for it continuously. She saw Herself as His creature and handmaid. She could not see Herself apart from Him, for She never had been apart from Him during one single instant of Her existence, as we unfortunately have been.
St. Teresa of Avila states, “humility is truth”. What is this truth? The truth is found in Mary’s disposition of knowing that She is the creature and that God is the Creator. She knew that all the greatness within Her came from His Hand and that of Herself She is nothing. We can learn from this disposition of heart. Do we give God all the glory for the accomplishments, talents, virtues and gifts that He has given to us? And when He shares His passion with us, do we offer the pains and inconveniences to His Heart in reparation for all that saddens Him? We can learn from Mary to give God all the glory and to depend on God for all things.
Do we find ourselves seeking man’s approval and praise? Mary’s life teaches us to do all for God alone. She wished to be hidden for God’s eyes alone. We are what we are only in the eyes of God – not in the eyes of men. Whether men give us praise or persecute us, humility teaches us that it only matters what God thinks. We are only the instruments of God and if our intentions are pure and full of love for Him, there is nothing to fear. This gives the saints great confidence to do His Will knowing that they will act only with His grace and only for His glory!
Let us ask Our Blessed Mother to teach us this humility of knowing who we truly are. This truth will set us free by taking away all our anxieties and giving us great confidence in God’s power – His grace! May She give us the grace to understand and be thankful for God’s graces. May we always come to Her and ask Her to send us these graces from God to be His instruments of love in this world. May we live in imitation of Her by living for God alone and in selflessly seeking the salvation of souls for His Kingdom!
Jesus, meek and humble of Heart - make our hearts like unto Thine!
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 41 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 6 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!