Saturday, August 31, 2013

Magnificat meditation: Taking the Lowest Place

By: Guigo de Ponte,
Carthusian monk of the Grande Chartreuse
in the French Alps
1297 A.D.

The gloss comments, “Pride is the last vice to leave returning to God and the first to greet those leaving God behind.” Someone has put it well: Although you are fighting well and think you have uprooted everything, pride still threatens to recontaminate you and must therefore be conquered. For the proud enemy uses pride from the start to make a man who is eager to hurry to heaven think that he amounts to something in the Lord’s eyes or in the eyes of certain men, to think that he is more virtuous and less given to vices than he really is- and to have just the opposite opinion of others.

In this light it is a great grace to steady the heart (Heb 13:9) and, by steady humility, to acquiesce to the Word of God that says, When you are invited to a wedding feast, sit down in the lowest place (Lk 14:10) and Esteem others better than yourself (Phil 2:3).

Let us then humbly and pragmatically put into practice the advice Saint Bernard rightly gives in his sermon on the Canticle: “I do not want you to compare yourself to those greater or lesser than you, to a particular few, not even to a single person, etc.” For we do not even know for sure what state we are in or what shall become of us tomorrow- much less can we know the truth about others. We are all created by one Creator, who establishes the members of the Body of Christ not according to our judgments but according to his own knowledge. Brought to you courtesy of the September edition of the Magnificat