78 – Real power is service – there is no other way in the Church. For the Christian, progress means humbling oneself

Perusing the pages of human history, and comparing ages long past, peoples distant from one another, and the most different cultures, we notice one common denominator: the presence of egoism, power struggles, greed and all the other vices related to pride. It is not surprising, since our first parents, Adam and Eve, fell into the trap of the evil one, thinking that by their disobedience they would become ‘like gods’ (cf Gen 3:5).

On the other hand, when Jesus came to the world, he taught us about the evils of pride, and his whole life was a profound example of humility: he wished to become man, to be born in a stable, to die on the cross… And he showed his disciples the path to follow: ‘Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many’ (Mt 20:26-28).

However, the humility of Jesus that we are all called to imitate is often confused with a false modesty which leads to forgetting the greatness of the Christian vocation, leading to a timid attitude of submission towards the enemies of the Church, or even a simulation of attenuating Catholic doctrine and morals so as not to ‘hurt the feelings’ of those who think differently. And as always, there are those who make the most of certain affirmations of the ecclesiastical authorities to project this distorted vision…

Perhaps something like this is what happened to Pope Francis in one of his morning homilies on this topic. Were his words well understood? Or had we better ask what were his intentions by saying them? The Magisterium, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church can help us to answer.

 

Francis

Quote A

Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter in the various parts of our study

ContentsAuthors
I – The humility of Jesus is perfectly harmonious with majesty and glory
II – What is true Christian Humility?
III – The courage to serve Christ without compromises is the guarantee of humility and of authentic service to others
IV – Reasons to show holy pride in belonging to the Church


I – The humility of Jesus is perfectly harmonious with majesty and glory


Saint Thomas Aquinas

Christ’s humility is the more wondrous as His majesty is the more sublime

Catechism of Trent

Christ the Lord - nothing can be conceived more humble, and nothing more magnificent

Sacred Scripture

Jesus declares himself King before Pilate
On the eve of the Passion, Jesus asks his Father to glorify him
Humiliation was the path to glory

Benedict XVI

Before the Crucified Christ every knee should bow
Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father with every adversary at his feet

Saint John Chrysostom

Jesus declares himself to be the Master and the light of the world

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Jesus clearly manifested his exalted condition as Son of God…

John Paul II

...and willed that others recognize it

Saint Augustine of Hippo

Christ affirms of himself the lesser; and Peter affirms of Christ the greater

Sacred Scripture

The Pharisees were indignant at the praise due to Jesus, but He did not reject it
“If they keep silent, the stones will cry out!”

II – What is true Christian humility?


Benedict XVI

We should learn the correct humility from Christ

Saint Teresa of Avila

To be humble is to walk in truth

John Paul II

Humility is the awareness of our own smallness in relation to God...
…it is submission to the power of truth, and condition of greatness

Benedict XVI

Humility does not mean false modesty

Pius X

The example of Saint Anselm: humility and magnanimity, strength and gentleness

Pius XI

Humility is perfectly compatible with self-confidence and not with self-degradation

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Outward signs and pretense: no more than false humility and grievous pride

III – The courage to serve Christ without compromises is the guarantee of humility and of authentic service to others


Benedict XVI

Humility is not the way of renunciation but that of courage

John Paul II

Christians should declare the faith frankly and with courage
The service of the truth is a priority task for bishops

Pius XI

The priest’s first loving gift to his neighbors is to serve truth

Pius XII

The first duty of the Pope is giving witness to the Truth, and to confute those who err

Pius X

Debasing oneself before the enemies of the Church is a culpable pastoral omission

Benedict XV

The example of Saint Jerome: humility in hearing the Church and intransigence with her enemies

IV – Reasons to show holy pride in belonging to the Church


Leo XIII

God made the Church as a perfect society

Benedict XVI

The joy of belonging to the Church is not triumphalism but humility, being grateful for the gift of the Lord

Pius XII

Nothing more glorious, nobler of more honorable than to belong to the Catholic Church

Pius X

It behooves us to cry aloud and make known to all the great truths of the faith

Pius XI

The Church of Christ: divinely commissioned to lead mankind

John XXIII

The Catholic Church is Mother and Teacher of all nations

Pius IX

It is perverse to attempt to suppress the power of the Catholic Church over all nations and peoples, even to the end of the world

Leo XIII

The source of the evils of society lies chiefly in setting aside the authority of the Church

Discover another innovation:

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