Humility and Charity

Over the past several weeks I have been reading daily from To Live Is Christ: A 40-Day Journey with Saint Paul. Each day takes a passage from one of Paul’s letters and combines it with a related reflection from different Christian writers.

A couple of days ago the passage of Scripture came from Colossians 3:12-17 which includes Paul’s instruction that if we allow God’s peace to rule our hearts and Christ to dwell in us, we will bear fruit.

The reflection that day came from St. Padre Pio (1887-1968) who was an Italian friar, priest and mystic and was canonized as a saint in 2002. He writes this under the title “Advice to One Striving to Do God’s Will.”

Regarding what you have asked me, I don’t want to say anything more concerning your spirit than this: remain tranquil, striving every more intensely with divine help to keep humility and charity firm within you, for they are the most important parts of the great building, and all the others depend on them. Keep yourself firmly fixed in them. One is the highest thing, the other the lowest. The preservation of the entire building depends on both the foundations and the roof. If we keep our hearts applied to the constant exercise of these virtues, we will encounter no difficulties with the others. They are the mothers of the virtues; the other virtues follow them like chicks follow their mother.

Padre Pio doesn’t specify which is which, but as I reflected on this, I thought that the foundation of my life should be charity (love), deeply rooted in love, and the roof of my life should be humility, in order to give me perspective and remember that I am what I am only by the grace of God.

Lord, may I be grounded in your love! Lord, may I never think too highly of myself. All that I am I owe to you. Thanks be to God!

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