The Virtue of Humility by Cardinal Merry de Val

Father James going back to school? First day of school.

Letters from a Pastor to His People- September 1, 2019

Dear Parishioners,

In the crypt of Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome are the tombs of many popes, including the first and greatest pope himself.  There is one tomb, however, that is unique.  Just to the right of St. Peter is a marble sarcophagus with the name etched in: Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val.  Yes, cardinals are important, but why this cardinal, among all the thousands in the history of the Church, in this preeminent spot?  Because Cardinal Merry del Val possessed the preeminent virtue: humility.

We hear in the first reading, "My child, conduct your affairs with humility" (Sirach 3:17), and the Gospel parable is about humility, so it's worth reflecting on this underrated virtue.  But back to the story.

Merry del Val was born of Spanish nobility and became a priest, seeking to serve and not be served.  For his reception after being named a bishop he hosted 200 poor and homeless people of Rome. In fact, he shunned parties and banquets throughout his career, instead going to the neighborhood of Trastevere to serve the poor and minister to the young people.  He was made Secretary of State at the incredibly young age of 38 by Pope Saint Pius X, who desired him for his greatest skill: humility.

With the virtue of humility, we understand that we do not have all the answers or the solutions to all life's challenges.  We let God do the work.  If we possess humility, we see ourselves as the last, which means, paradoxically, we will be the first. So, if you want to enjoy life to the fullest, another way of saying you are "the first," then pray for humility.  You could even recite the Litany of Humility, which was composed by, you guessed it, Merry Del Val.

 

The Litany of Humility

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, R: Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved...

From the desire of being extolled ...

From the desire of being honored ...

From the desire of being praised ...

From the desire of being preferred to others...

From the desire of being consulted ...

From the desire of being approved ...

From the fear of being humiliated ...

From the fear of being despised...

From the fear of suffering rebukes ...

From the fear of being calumniated ...

From the fear of being forgotten ...

From the fear of being ridiculed ...

From the fear of being wronged ...

From the fear of being suspected ...

That others may be loved more than I,

Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I ...

That, in the opinion of the world,

others may increase and I may decrease ...

That others may be chosen and I set aside ...

That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...

That others may be preferred to me in everything...

That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

 

I hope you all enjoy your Labor Day weekend.  There will be one Mass tomorrow (Monday) at 8:30am in the Church.

This Thursday, September 5th at 6pm in the gym is the fall sports pep rally for the school.  The Saint Juliana football team opens this weekend, Saturday September 7th at 11:30am in Brooks Park. 

This Friday is a First Friday of the month, which means we will have Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in church following the 8:30am school Mass until 5pm.

I want to take a moment to thank everyone involved in the Queen of Hearts raffle.  An article was recently written about the raffle's success (you can see it at https://blockclubchicago.org/2019/08/23/st-juliana-parishs-queen-of-hearts-pot-is-now-worth-more-than-500000/).  I mentioned to the reporter how this could not have happened without the many dedicated volunteers, from the individuals who sold tickets each weekend in the back of the church to those who helped with the social media and advertising.  I specifically want to thank Dana Oswald and Ray Balcarcel who have put many hours into this.  Because we have to send in the bulletin to be published on Wednesday, I don't know if this week rolled over.  But as of the submission of this letter, our pot was over $525,000, which means over $260,000 will be coming to the parish.  This money is not ear-marked for anything, and I will be meeting this week with the Finance Council to begin the discussions on how to best use this money.  There will be a Queen of Hearts 3.0 after this queen is pulled (drawings still to be Thursday 9pm at Firewater), so be sure to keep an eye out!

 

Yours in Christ,

Fr. James

 

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