Monday, December 3, 2012

Humility and Charity Above All Other Virtues

For humility caused the Son of God to be born of the Virgin, in whom was found humility, not eager embraces or beauty of flesh or earthly riches or gold ornaments or earthly honors.  But the Son of God lay in a manger, because His Mother was a poor maiden.  Humility always groans, weeps and destroys all offenses, for this is its work.  So let anyone who wishes to conquer the Devil arm himself with humility, since Lucifer frevertly flees it and hides in its presence like a snake in a hole; for wherever it finds him, it quickly snaps him like a fragile thread.

And charity took the Only-Begotten of God, who was in the bosom of the Father in Heaven, and placed Him in the wormb of a mother on earth, for it does not spurn sinners or publicans but seeks to save all.  Therefore it often brings forth a fountain of tears from the eyes of the faithful, thus softening hardness of heart.  In this, humility and charity are brighter than the other virtues, since humility and charity are like a soul and body that possess stronger powers than the other powers of soul and bodily members.  How?  Humility is like the soul and charity like the body, and they cannot be separated from each other but work together, just as soul and body cannot be disjoined but work together as long as a person lives in the body.  And as the various members of the body are subject, according to their powers, to the soul and to the body, so also the other virtues cooperate, according to their justice, with humility and charity.  And therefore, O human, for the glory of God and for your salvation, pursue humility and charity; armed with them, you shall not fear the Devil's snares but shall have everlasting life.

Therefore whoever has knowledge in the Holy Spirit and wings of faith, let this one not ignore My admonition, but taste it, embrace it and receive it in his soul.

from Creation and Christ, The Wisdom of Hildegard of Bingen

Note:  On October 7, 2012, Pope Benedict opened the Synod on the New Evangelization by naming St. Hildegard of Bingen as a new doctor of the Church along with St. John of God. 

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