Those with greater charity prefer humiliations to honors

January 30, 2022 • 1 min

From The Spirit of St. Francis de Sales, page 153
By His friend, Jean Pierre Camus, Bishop of Belley

7. Next he considered that the highest, or more properly speaking, deepest degree of humility is that of taking pleasure and even delight in humiliations, reputing them to be in truth the greatest of honours, and of being just as much ill-content with honours as vain persons are with contempt and contumely.

In illustration of this he would quote Moses, who preferred the reproach of Israel to the glories of a kingdom offered to him by Pharaoh’s daughter; of Esther, who hated the splendid ornaments with which they decked her to make her pleasing in the eyes of Assuerus; of the Apostles, whose greatest joy was to suffer shame and reproach for the name of Jesus; and of David, who danced before the Ark amid a crowd of buffoons and mountebanks, and who exulted in thus making himself appear contemptible in the eyes of Michol, his wife.

8. Blessed Francis called humility a descending charity, and charity an ascending humility. The former he compared to those streams which come down from the heights and flow down into the valleys. The latter to the slender column of smoke spoken of in the Canticle [Cant. iii. 6.] which rises up towards Heaven, and is composed of all the sweet essences of the perfumer.

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