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Humility, Liberality, Chastity

Humility, Liberality, Chastity

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Published by JC Nazareno

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Published by: JC Nazareno on Jun 23, 2011
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 At a very early age St. Agnes had such a high regard for the virtue of chastity that she vowed her virginity to God. The Roman authorities, who were persecuting the infant Church, tried to make this child offer incense to the idols, but she refused. Seeing her firmness, the persecutors tried to win her by flattery. She was only thirteen years old, beautiful and wealthy; they offered to marry her to the son of a high official in Rome. But she answered that she was consecrated to her Heavenly Bridegroom. She suffered torture and meekly laid her head on the execution block.
44. Humility, Liberality,Chastity
What is humility?
--Humility is that moral virtue which disposes us toappreciate and acknowledge our true position with respect to God and our fellowmen.Jesus Christ often praised and recommended humility. "Unless you turn, and become like little children, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven"
(Matt. 18:3). He always answered the prayers of the humble, as of the centurion(Matt. 8:11). "If any man wishes to be first, he shall be last of all, and servantof all" (Mark 9:34)
The humble man acknowledges God as the
of all the excellent things hemay possess. He recognizes his limitations, his own nothingness, and theuselessness of all earthly things without God.Compared to God, what are we? All things pass away; only God is eternal.These simple truths will help us keep humble; without God we are nothing. Letus practice the behest of Our Lord. "Learn from me, for I am meek and humbleof heart" (Matt. 11:29).
The humble man knows that earthly things are of value only if they
us toGod. His detachment from all things worldly frees him from all human fear.In order to become humble, let us think often of the majesty and grandeur of God. Let us contemplate His works, beside which ours would be nothing.Above all, let us remember that without God we would not even exist. Do wefeel proud of our wealth? Tomorrow a fire, a business depression, may wipe itoff completely. Are we proud of our appearance? An accident, some sickness,would make it as if it had never been. Are we proud of our intelligence?Amnesia would take it all away.
The humble man has his best,
in the Son of God Himself, Jesus Christ,Who humbled Himself out of love for men."Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart" (Matt. 11:29). The Son of God humbled Himself when He came down to earth as man. He came as a poor man, in the eyes of the world the son of a carpenter. His companions weresimple fishermen. He associated with the humble, with sinners even. At theLast Supper He washed the feet of His apostles. He was put to death on thecross, the manner of death then most despised.4.Our Lord continually urged us to humility; as when He said, "He who isgreatest among you shall be your servant" (Matt. 23:11).In the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican Christ exalted humility; as alsoHe did when, taking a little child, He said, "Whoever, therefore, humbleshimself as this little child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt.18:4). And again He said, after preaching to His disciples, "When you have
done everything that was commanded you, say: We are unprofitable servants'"(Luke 17: 10)
Humility is
both to pride and to excessive and affected self-abjection.To be humble, a man does not need to belittle his abilities. St. Thomas Aquinassays: That a person should recognize and appreciate his own good qualities isnot sin." (See Chapter 25 on Pride, Covetousness, Lust)
What is liberality?
--Liberality is that moral virtue, related to the cardinalvirtue of justice, which finds expression in generosity towards our fellowmen,disposing us to use material goods rightly.
Ordinarily the term is taken with reference to
goods; but in a broader sense it also is with respect to spiritual and intellectual gifts.Liberality consists in giving, for the love of God, generous help to those inneed. Our Lord said, in urging us to do works of mercy, that what is given tothe poor is given to Him. Liberality does not depend on the amount given, butin the spirit. A poor man can be very liberal; whereas a rich man who givesmillions, but does so only in order to get praised does not have the virtue of generosity.
Liberality is
to covetousness.With liberality we become willing for the love of God to help out those inmaterial need. This virtue does not depend on the amount or material value of the gift, but in the goodness of the heart with which it is given. (See Chapter 25on Pride, Covetousness, Lust)
What is chastity?
--Chastity is that moral virtue which disposes us to be purein soul and body.Those who keep themselves pure in soul and body are like angels on earth. Itwas the chaste Apostle John to whom Christ gave the privilege of leaning onHis breast at the Last Supper; it was to him that He entrusted His VirginMother.
, opposed to lust, disposes us to preserve the mind and body fromeverything that is impure. Chastity is purity. It is termed the
angelic virtue
, because it makes men resemble the angels in heaven.

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