The humility of the blessed virgin
If, says St. Bernard, thou canst not imitate the virginity, imitate the humility of this humble Virgin. She detests the proud and invites only the humble to come to her: Whoever is a little one let him come to me.
I. There can be no doubt, as St. Gregory of Nyssa says, that of all virtues there is, perhaps none the practice of which is more difficult to our nature, corrupted as it is by sin, than that of humility. But there is no escape; we can never be true children of Mary if we are not humble. "If," says St. Bernard, thou canst not imitate the virginity of this humble Virgin, imitate her humility." She detests the proud, and invites only the humble to come to her: Whosoever is a little one, let him come to me (Prov. ix. 4). "Mary," says Richard of St. Laurence, "protects us under the mantle of humility." The Mother of God herself explained to St. Bridget what her mantle was, saying, "Come, my daughter, and hide thyself under my mantle; this mantle is my humility." She then added that the consideration of her humility was a good mantle with which we could warm ourselves; but that as a mantle only renders this service to those who wear it, not in thought but in deed, "so also would her humility be of no avail except to those who endeavoured to imitate it." She then concluded in these words: "Therefore, my daughter, clothe thyself with this humility."
II. "Oh, how dear to Mary are humble souls!" says St. Bernard. This Blessed Virgin, he says, recognizes and loves those who love her, and is near to all who call upon her; and especially to those whom she sees like unto herself in chastity and humility. Hence the Saint exhorts all who love Mary to be humble: "Emulate this virtue of Mary if thou lovest her." Marinus, or Martin d'Alberto, of the Society of Jesus, used to sweep the house and collect the refuse through love for this Blessed Virgin. The Divine Mother one day appeared to him, as Father Nieremberg relates in his Life, and, thanking him, said: "Oh, how pleasing to me is this humble action done for my love!"
Then, O my Queen, I can never be really thy child unless I am humble; but dost thou not see that my sins, after having rendered me ungrateful to my Lord, have also made me proud? O my Mother, do thou supply a remedy. By the merit of thy humility obtain that I may be truly humble, and thus become thy child. Amen.
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