St. Joseph Catholic Church - Toledo, OH

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September 23, 2012 - Homily Notes

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+JMJ

Homily Preparation Notes

-You and I are made to perceive the most amazing beauty ultimately… the beauty of purest love, always God, in the beatific vision of heaven…

-even on earth those faculties are to be exercised… one might say that your overarching endeavor ought to be to perceive love, so that you can receive it fully, and live for towards God and others

-it takes humility to receive and offer love… and that is what is lacking in Jesus' disciples today

-throughout the Gospel, Jesus' glory has been more and more evident… the fact that he comes from God and has power to do miracles and speak with amazing wisdom…

-all of a sudden today we run into the humility of God… here is the Son of God speaking about his imminent death at the hands of men… what amazing beauty in God's willingness to serve us by undergoing the humiliation of death… but the apostles don't appreciate it yet

-while Jesus is speaking to them along the road about the suffering he must undergo… they are speaking to one another about which of them is the greatest…

-so along this road we have the beautiful humility of God walking beside the ugly, prideful desire of men to be esteemed as greater than those around them…

-You and I are missing a lot if we're missing humility… (and each of us has to admit that we are missing it some) St. Augustine: “almost the whole of Christian teaching is humility” (de virgnitate xxxi)

-okay still to seek to do great things… this is not contrary to humility... but only by God's power (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa q.161,2)

-St. Anselm's 12 degrees of humility (from St. Thomas, Summa, q.161,6):

  1. be humbled not only in heart, but also show it in one's very person, with eyes fixed on the ground;
  2. speak few and sensible words, and be not loud of voice;
  3. do not be easily moved and disposed to laughter;
  4. maintain silence until one is asked;
  5. do nothing but to what one is exhorted by the common rule of the monastery;
  6. believe and acknowledge oneself viler than all;
  7. think oneself worthless and unprofitable for all purposes;
  8. confess one's sin;
  9. embrace patience under difficult and contrary circumstances;
  10. subject oneself to a superior;
  11. do not delight in fulfilling your own desires;
  12. fear God and be always mindful of everything God has commanded

-St. Thomas Aquinas: (Summa, q.161,6ad3) “all of the degrees mentioned by St. Anselm are reducible to knowledge and confession of one's own shortcomings, and desire of one's own abasement”

-something you and I can do in prayer: regularly acknowledge before God our faults, weaknesses… do our best to desire humiliation/abasement (this is definitely a very hard thing to pray for) and this will even help us pray better… CCC 2559: “Humility is the foundation of prayer... Man is a beggar before God (St. Augustine).”

-can you perceive the amazing humility of God giving himself to you in such a simple form in this Eucharist? May we appreciate the amazing power in his humility more fully today than ever before.

Last Updated on Sunday, 23 September 2012 15:43  

Iustus germinabit sicut lilium: et florebit in aeternum ante Dominum.
-- Gospel Acclamation, Solemnity of St. Joseph, March 19

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--Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

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