Monday, September 27, 2021

Saint Vincent de Paul On Kindness and Humility

Today we celebrate the memorial of the 17th century French priest Saint Vincent de Paul, who is remembered especially for his service to the poor. Here is some advice from him on kindness, humility, and confidence in God that will nourish all of us:

"We should not worry too much about temporal affairs. We ought to have confidence in God that he will look after us since we know for certain that as long as we are grounded in that sort of love and trust we will be always under the protection of God in heaven, we will remain unaffected by evil and never lack what we need even when everything we possess seems headed for disaster.

"We should make a great effort to learn the following lesson, also taught by Christ: 'Learn from me because I am gentle and humble in heart.' We should remember that he himself said that by gentleness we inherit the earth. If we act on this we will win people over so that they will turn to the Lord. That will not happen if we treat people harshly or sharply. 

"And we should also remember that humility is the route to heaven. A loving acceptance of it when we are humiliated usually raises us up, guiding us, as it were, step by step from one virtue to the next until we reach heaven. This humility was very often recommended by Christ himself, by word and example, and we should make a great effort to master it. Humility is the basis of all holiness in the Gospels and a bond of the entire spiritual life. If a person has this humility everything good will come along with it."