Tag Archives: Humility

The Habits of Humility and Zeal are noble arraignment for the Christian

Part I: On the Habit of Humility

Jesus meek and humble of Heart, make our hearts like unto thine!

On this Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, a meditation on the virtue of humility

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

As disciples of Jesus Christ we are called to believe in Him and accept Baptism. And when we do so, not only by memorizing the doctrines of the Faith or by being baptised in the laver of regeneration, but by intentionally and actively living them, that is conforming our minds and hearts to them, thus, we are promised the Kingdom of Heaven.

And being promised a Kingdom, means that we have been raised to a royal status.

But alas, most of us forget this. And it has not been preached in many years and decades.

Aristotle said more than 2300 years ago, that the worst form of government was Democracy, and that it ends up in tyranny. Aristotle has been heavily criticized for his simplistic political theories in recent decades but the Scamdemic has proved him once again to be one of the great and most trustworthy thinkers of history.

In Christianity too, our ideal is not democracy.  Christ is King and by His grace in the Sacraments we are made heirs of a kingdom. Heaven is not a democracy, but an absolute Monarchy, the justice and honesty of which is guaranteed by the Most Perfectly Honest and Just Ruler, Jesus Christ, Who is God incarnate.

And not only should we recognize that democracy does not work on Earth and is not present in Heaven, so we must acknowledge that the ideals of democracy as regards human character are not the best for humanity nor compatible with Christianity.

For in a democracy there is lauded a chaotic spontaneous liberty, restrained by no morality or hierarchical order. And as such, in a democracy, the individual is urged to manure himself all over, inside and out, with vain glory, pride, avarice, lust, envy, jealousy, intemperance, and worst of them all, toleration of all evil and all forms of chaos, whether they merely upset the public order or require the killing of hundreds of millions of innocents in the name of preserving the liberty or rights of someone else, usually the majority.

But it is quite otherwise in Christendom.

For Christ teaches us that we should and must imitate Him, the King, in His perfect humility. And at the same time, we should imitate Him, our King, in His perfect zeal for spiritual personal righteousness.

Christ is not a Marxist. He did not come to liberate nations from political problems or systems of corruption. He came to save individuals and to call each of us to be honest and just first of all, in our relationship with God and neighbor.  And not just a vague hypothetical neighbor, but the ones who live next to our, whom we meet on the sidewalk, workplace, church, store, etc..

As regards the Humility of Christ, here is where most common definitions of humility fail to grasp the reality and essence of the virtue.  For we are told that “humility is truth”, “humility is having a true or just appreciation for one’s self”.  But these are definitions of the thing as a notion or from without, not how to practice it internally.

And when it comes to an internal virtue, whether humility or purity, its the awareness of how to practice it in the halls of our mind and heart, which is the key to holiness.  The same goes with zeal, which is often confused with merely external behavior. So let us consider each more properly.

Humility is the royal garment which merits heaven. Because, “God resists the proud, but to the humble he gives grace”,  and without grace, we can do nothing, because grace is a participation in the divine life of Jesus Christ, Who said, “Without Me you can do nothing”.

This means that without humility all our works, howsoever great or good in this world, are without merit for the kingdom of Heaven, because without humility God will resist our works, and see that they come to naught worthy of Heaven.  Here is where we Catholics part with the Calvinists and jansenists who believed that exterior works prove the authenticity of a Christian’s faith or charity. Christ Himself warned us agains this, when He said, “They already have their reward”, speaking of the Jews who wore long tassels, blew trumpets to announce their alms giving, preferred the places of honor at table.

And Humility is not just a habit metaphorically, but also spiritually, because it must be the constant manner of comportment of our mind and heart in their consideration of the worth of one’s own self, actions, words, and thoughts.

And here is the real secret of humility which has not been preached or well explained, but which is found in the lives of the Saints if you reflect on their words and deeds and choices in life.

For a humble man does not presume he will be saved. Neither as a pagan, nor as a Christian, nor as a Catholic. Neither as one receiving the Sacraments frequently, or saying many rosaries, or making many pilgrimages or giving alms by measure.

No a humble man is first of all a cautious man, because he recognizes from observing himself that he himself is the greatest and only real  threat to his own salvation. In his examination of conscience he finds the cause of sin not in others, nor in places, nor in this or that thing, but in himself and in his presumption to think, speak or act in a way which lead him down the road to sin.

A habitual sinner, considers always that sin is far off. And a petty sinner, is a sinner who always thinks it is not much a deal. But a humble man, seeing even the most smallest fault is worried and troubled, and does not remain in a sentiment of worry, but immediately resolves to fix the problem, just as a man arising from sleep to find the floor of his bedroom covered with sewage would take immediate and intense action to fix the problem or flee from that place.

Thus the habit of humility is a habit of mind, whereby we keep in mind our own wretched habits of inclining into sin and besmirching our soul and this world with our vices and sins and injustices. It is not simply something we do when we go to confession, it is a continual inclination of mind to see all the ugliness of our soul which is there, examining it carefully without the intention of being preoccupied by self, but rather with the intention of conforming oneself to God’s Will and Justice and measuring our wretchedness by These Eternal Measures.

But it is impossible to acquire the habit of humility by our own actions. We are given it in Baptism and we can merit an increase by practicing it. We can recover it in Confession, but rarely do so. We can obtain it by prayer and by the intervention of some saint who has special care for us, for some reason known to God. But it is an extraordinary gift and very rare. And that is why Our Lord warns us, strongly, saying, “Woe!” The path to salvation is narrow and truly few are those who find it. But the paths of pride are many and wide and crowds of souls walk upon them.

The fruit of true humility is seen in a habitual stream of actions, words and thoughts from a soul, which lead it away from the world, the flesh and the devil. If our generation has a problem detaching itself from evil, it is because it lacks humility.  The humble soul flees the works of the flesh, the world and the devil. And that means rejecting all the values, interests, endeavors and entertainments and pleasures of men who are carnal, worldly or diabolic. And that is why there are far fare more Saints who were religious monks and sisters, than there are who were layman or secular clergy.  Catholics of all ages agreed, but Catholics in modern times, addicted to pride, often down play this, saying that laymen wills save the Church.

But laymen of such pride will never even save themselves! And lead the many to ruin. We have to radically distance ourselves from such errors an d return to God and His will and plans for our sanctification, not just for our salvation. And that means returning to the examples of the Saints of all ages who rejected most firmly such an error.  And they knew better, since they knew the root of salvation was in humility.

Moreover, the giver of humility is the Holy Spirit. When He visits a soul, so great is the light of truth, that the soul cannot but be shocked at the utter ugliness and depravity of itself.  For this reason, most souls flee the Holy Spirit and make every effort to avoid His presence. And they are so good at this, that they can do so even in the presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament, on a daily basis.

This gift, this grace, this habit of humility is also a delicate one. For the habits of mind, heart, lips and life which presuppose that I, me, and my own, are important, good, upright, just etc.. each are capable of lethal injections of pride, which kill humility seconds after is generation in the soul. This is not on account of the impotence of God to create it, but on account of the delicacy of humility itself. For just as a great craftsman shows his power and talents in making the most delicately contrived art, which however is easily broken, so the gift of humility is breakable so easily to show its outstanding excellence.  This explains why Our Lord said that only children will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, because we must have the delicacy of innocence, to avoid the lethality of pride which kills this essential quality of the noble Christian.

How to be a Catholic: Episode #11: The true Holy Spirit and how to serve Him

In this episode, Br. Bugnolo remarks on the Charismatic Movement, its goals and methods, and shows how true worship of the Holy Spirit leads us in entirely another direction.

Those involved in the “Charistmatic Movement” will have a hard time accepting what Brother says, just like drug addicts have a hard time listening to a discourse on mortification and the immorality of seeking pleasure.  But the truth has to be spoken, especially today, on the Solemnity of the Holy Spirit.

IF you love Jesus Christ, REPAIR the Church

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

One of the things I admire most in my Seraphic Father, Saint Francis of Assisi, is his true love for Jesus Christ, Our God and Savior. He showed this most of all in his desire to repair the Church.

Not restore the Church, but repair the Church.

Only God can restore the Church, because only God has the power to found the Church and sustain the Church and touch Her at the level of existence and grace and being.

But we can collaborate in this work of the Holy Ghost by working to repair the Church.

A work of repair is arduous and it must be daily. It requires knocking down what is corrupt and dissolute and replacing it just as it in ages past, copying all the art and design and engineering of her past perfection.

But it requires, not just work, but work on the right Church. The Church is one, only one. The Church is not a private Chapel, nor a club. The Church is each and every Diocese of the Catholic Church in the world.

This means that repairing the Church is a great work, and an arduous task, but that each of us has the ability to do our part where we are, in our own diocese.

And if all who profess to love Jesus Christ, and who profess the observance of the 10 Commandments and the unchanging doctrines and dogmas of the Catholic Faith, did this, the Church would be restored, because Christ gives great graces for this.

This means that we need to distinguish between the sins of men and the offices and Sacraments which Christ gave us. The former can fail, the latter can never fail.

The work of reparation does mean, in part, seeing that crooks go to jail and heretics are denounced. Indeed, if heretics are not denounced, how can Catholics obtain Catholic pastors?

The denunciation of perverts or heretics requires solid evidence. With that had the public denunciation should be made to proper authorities. And if there is no proper authority, then to the general public. The faithful of every diocese, during an impeded Apostolic See (whether by usurpation by an anti-pope or by vacancy) have the right to replace their heretical ordinary with a Catholic ordinary. This right is vindicated on this, that a heretic is no longer a member of the Church, and when a superior in jurisdiction is impeded in his authority, his authority to act in just matters and in times of great necessity can be legitimately employed in a vicarious manner by the whole local Church which remains Catholic. This is how Catholics replaced Arian Bishops with Catholic Bishops in the Arian crisis of the 4th century.

Let us not dissipate our forces by trying to have our own little private island while letting the whole Church go to ruin. That negligence is also a sin that merits damnation, because it is not only directly against the charity we should have for our fellow Catholics, it is an act of hateful crucifixion of Christ’s Mystical Body.

And the first step in this work of repair is our own humility, penitence and self reform. That is why all of us who are not married have a grave duty to consider forsaking all to become holy priests and holy religious or holy hermits. There is no greater need now in the Church, than that Christ’s Army be repopulated with such faithful servants.

This is also why it IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to keep the laws of the Church, which are inscribed in Heaven, as Christ said to Peter: whatsoever you bind on earth, shall be bound in Heaven. Any Catholic, priest or layman, who tells you that you should follow common opinion and not the laws of the Church is a WOLF IN SHEEPS’ CLOTHING. Hear him no more than you would listen to the Devil.

And for that reason, the Church can only be repaired IN UNION WITH THE TRUE POPE, Pope Benedict XVI, who according to the norm OF ALL CHURCH LAWS never valid resigned the papacy and therefore remains the Vicar of Jesus Christ.

The present crisis in the Church is merely the end result of not following the laws of the Church and following the opinions of errant Cardinals and Shepherds, not the will of Jesus Christ, who said: whatsoever you bind on earth, shall be bound in Heaven, which is a direct reference to Canon Law.

Return to Pope Benedict and work to convince others to this.

To do anything else, apart from that, is to build your house on sand. So do not be surprised if it falls and is swept away in the torrent of sins.

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A Meditation on Proverbs 16 is the cure for the failed Renunciation

Book of Proverbs: Chapter 16

(Latin text is the Clementine Vulgate. The English translation of each paragraph by Br. Bugnolo)

[1] Hominis est animam praeparare, et Domini gubernare linguam. [2] Omnes viae hominis patent oculis ejus; spirituum ponderator est Dominus. [3] Revela Domino opera tua, et dirigentur cogitationes tuae. [4] Universa propter semetipsum operatus est Dominus; impium quoque ad diem malum. [5] Abominatio Domini est omnis arrogans; etiamsi manus ad manum fuerit, non est innocens. Initium viae bonae facere justitiam; accepta est autem apud Deum magis quam immolare hostias.

1. It belongs to man to prepare the soul, and to God to govern the tongue. 2. All the ways of a man lie open to His eyes; a weigher of spirits is the Lord. 3. Reveal to the Lord thy works, and thy thoughts will be set aright. 4. Each and every thing has the Lord wrought for Himself; the impious, too, for the evil day. 5. An abomination to the Lord is every arrogant (man); even if it be done hand in hand with others, he is not innocent. The beginning of the good way is to work justice; it is, moreover, more accepted before God than the sacrifice of holocausts.

[6] Misericordia et veritate redimitur iniquitas, et in timore Domini declinatur a malo. [7] Cum placuerint Domino viae hominis, inimicos quoque ejus convertet ad pacem. [8] Melius est parum cum justitia, quam multi fructus cum iniquitate. [9] Cor hominis disponit viam suam, sed Domini est dirigere gressus ejus. [10] Divinatio in labiis regis; in judicio non errabit os ejus.

6. By mercy and truth is iniquity redeemed, and in the fear of the Lord does one turn away from evil. 7. When the ways of a man are pleasing to the Lord, He also converts his enemies to peace. 8. Better is a little with justice, than the enjoyment of much with iniquity. 9. The heart of a man arranges his own way, but it belongs to the Lord to direct his steps. 10. Divination is on the lips of the king; in judgement there shall not err his mouth.

[11] Pondus et statera judicia Domini sunt, et opera ejus omnes lapides sacculi. [12] Abominabiles regi qui agunt impie, quoniam justitia firmatur solium. [13] Voluntas regum labia justa; qui recta loquitur diligetur. [14] Indignatio regis nuntii mortis, et vir sapiens placabit eam. [15] In hilaritate vultus regis vita, et clementia ejus quasi imber serotinus.

11. Weight and balance are the judgements of the Lord, and His works all the weights for the measure. 12. Abominable the kings who act impiously, since the throne is made firm by justice. 13. The will of kings, just lips; he who speaks upright words shall be loved. 14. The indignation of the king, the messengers of death, and the wise man shall placate his wrath. 15. In hilarity, the face of the king, life, and his clemency as an evening downpour.

[16] Posside sapientiam, quia auro melior est, et acquire prudentiam, quia pretiosior est argento. [17] Semita justorum declinat mala; custos animae suae servat viam suam. [18] Contritionem praecedit superbia, et ante ruinam exaltatur spiritus. [19] Melius est humiliari cum mitibus, quam dividere spolia cum superbis. [20] Eruditus in verbo reperiet bona, et qui sperat in Domino beatus est.

16. Take hold of wisdom, because she is better than gold, and acquire prudence, because she is more precious than silver. 17. The paths of the just turn aside evils; the guardian of one’s own soul keeps his own way. 18. Pride precedes destruction, and before a ruin the spirit is exalted. 19. Better is it to be humbled with the meek, than to divide spoils with the proud. 20. The learned in word shall find good things, and he who hopes in the Lord is blessed.

[21] Qui sapiens est corde appellabitur prudens, et qui dulcis eloquio majora percipiet. [22] Fons vitae eruditio possidentis; doctrina stultorum fatuitas. [23] Cor sapientis erudiet os ejus, et labiis ejus addet gratiam. [24] Favus mellis composita verba; dulcedo animae sanitas ossium. [25] Est via quae videtur homini recta, et novissima ejus ducunt ad mortem.

21. He who is wise in heart shall be called “prudent”, and the one sweet in speech shall perceive greater things. 22. A fountain of life, the erudition of the one possessing her: the doctrine of fools is fatuousness. 23. The heart of the wise man shall teach his mouth, and shall add grace to his lips. 24. A comb of honey, well ordered words; the sweetness of the soul, the health of one’s bones. 25. There is a way which seems right to a man, and his last steps on it lead to death.

[26] Anima laborantis laborat sibi, quia compulit eum os suum. [27] Vir impius fodit malum, et in labiis ejus ignis ardescit. [28] Homo perversus suscitat lites, et verbosus separat principes. [29] Vir iniquus lactat amicum suum, et ducit eum per viam non bonam. [30] Qui attonitis oculis cogitat prava, mordens labia sua perficit malum.

26. The soul of the one laboring labors for itself, because his own mouth compels him. 27. The impious man digs up evil, and on his lips a fire burns. 28. A perverse man incites arguments, and the verbose sows division among princes. 29. The iniquitous man milks his own friend, and leads him through a way which is not good. 30. He who with stunned eyes thinks of depraved things, as one biting his own lips perfects evil.

[31] Corona dignitatis senectus, quae in viis justitiae reperietur. [32] Melior est patiens viro forti; et qui dominatur animo suo, expugnatore urbium. [33] Sortes mittuntur in sinum, sed a Domino temperantur.

31. A crown of dignity the old age, which is found upon the ways of justice. 32. Better is the patient one to the strong man; and he who dominates his own spirit, than the victorious besieger of cities. 33. Lots are cast into the lap, but they are sorted out by the Lord.

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There is more than ample doctrine here to put in proper perspective how evil it would be to presume to dispose of the Petrine Munus in a divided or bifurcated papacy, and how such an act of pride would bring destruction upon everyone in the Church. Also, how humility does NOT consist in being patient with the evils one has brought upon the Church, but rather in undoing the evil done and returning to the example of all previous popes, who served until death, or resigned the whole papal office and ministry, keeping nothing for themselves.

For more information about what I speak, see Ann Barnhardt’s post on Ganswein’s talk at the Gregorian University.

CREDITS: Latin text, from the Clementine Vulgate, online. Photo from https://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/monastic-views-lectio-divina-2162 an article on Lectio Divina, showing a Benedictine monk of Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery, Silver City, NM.

So Close, yet so far!

350 Meters, to be exact.

Yes, in that direction, 350 meters, dwells Christ’s Vicar on Earth: Pope Benedict XVI, in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, which is nearly at the geographical center of the Vatican City State.

So close, yet so far, because if the faithful were only free to speak with Him, I am sure we could convince him to take up again the Petrine Ministry and exercise again the Petrine Office which He has never renounced.

Many ask, when the present crisis in the Church will come to an end, if ever.

Many fear that we are in the end times and that all will go downhill from here.

But as regards prophecies, the Saints remind us that we know neither the day nor the hour of the End. Thus, we cannot omit good works and even heroic works to solve the problems in our own times.

If we had 50,000 Catholics standing with me hear at the wall, and willing to walk prayerfully and humbly to the Vatican, to unveil there our Banners and Flags can call for Pope Benedict to return, then I think that crisis would be nearer to the end.

Because, until at least some of us show God that we believe in the truth of the Religion He gave us, that we are willing to come to Rome en mass and demonstrate that Faith, I really do not think we deserve it.

If we are not willing to do that, while we remain willing to march on our national capitals for this or that political purpose, then I think we can rightly be said to be hypocrites.

And God despises hypocrisy. He came down to Earth to destroy pride and hypocrisy and to save the humble. — And, alas, the problem is that so few know this truth, and those of us who do, know about it through social media, which is a medium inclined to inform but not to motivate anyone to action.

But all true motivation, has only one source, the Holy Spirit, Who has never inspired anyone to sit on a couch and do nothing about evil.

And if you want the gifts of the Holy Spirit, it is not sufficient to ask and presume, you need to pray humbly and in secret and with ardent perseverance and confidence, that, in the doing of any good any holy work, which is necessary for the salvation of souls, He is with us!

These are my thoughts and the subject of my prayers. — Br. Alexis Bugnolo