Virtuous persons should have an outward bearing of gravity, humility, and sweetness

December 12, 2021 • 3 min

#Morals #Humility #Modesty

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 395
By Venerable Louis of Granada

Section II.

The Reformation of the Body.

Charity, it is truly said, begins at home. Let us, therefore, begin with the first obligation mentioned by the prophet—the duty of judgment which man must exercise towards himself.

Every just judge must enforce order and discipline in the district over which he exercises jurisdiction. Now, the kingdom over which man rules is divided into two distinct parts: the body with all its organs and senses, and the soul with all its affections and powers. Over all these he must establish the empire of virtue, if he would faithfully perform his duty to himself.

To reform the body and bring it under the dominion of virtue the first thing to be acquired is a modest and decorous bearing.

“Let there be nothing in your carriage, your deportment, or your dress,” says St. Augustine, “capable of scandalizing your neighbor, but let everything about you be conformable to the purity and sanctity of your profession.”

Hence a servant of God should bear himself with gravity, humility, and sweetness, that all who approach him may profit by his example and be edified by his virtues.

The great Apostle would have us, like fragrant plants, giving forth the sweet perfume of piety and filling all about us with the odor of Jesus Christ. [2 Cor. ii. 15.]

Such, indeed, should be the effect of the words, the actions, and the bearing of those who serve God, so that none who draw near to them can resist the sweet attraction of sanctity.

This is one of the principal fruits of a modest and recollected deportment. It is a mute but eloquent teaching, which draws men to the love of virtue and the service of God.

Thus do we fulfil the precept of our Saviour: “So let your light shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in Heaven.” [St. Matt. v. 16.]

The prophet Isaias also tells us that God’s servants should be plants bearing fruits of righteousness and virtue, the beauty of which will lead men to extol the power of their Creator. [Isaias lxi. 3.]

This does not mean that our good works must be done to gain the applause of men, for, as St. Gregory tells us, “a good work may be public only while its intention remains a secret between God and the soul. The example we thus afford our brethren destroys neither the merit of humility nor the desire to please only God.”

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