- Embrace your true self (humility)
- Embrace others as they are (gentleness)
- Interact with genuineness (simplicity
Each of these little virtues has great deal of depth and so I would like to simply focus on one at a time.
So many of the saints speak of this virtue and each one highlights a particular way of looking at it. It can be seen as looking at all your bad points, or interpreted as being sure you are never thought well of. But these ideas are not the truth of what any of the saints is saying! St. Francis de Sales speaks very clearly of our need to know our faults and failings, but also to know our gifts and talents. Humility, as St. Vincent de Paul (a close contemporary of Holy Father) says, "is nothing but truth and pride is nothing but lying". Our Holy Father would certainly agree as he encourages us to see ourselves as God sees us. Humility for St. Francis de Salesis (in my own words): To see ourselves, both the good and the bad within us, as God sees us and to embrace it!
While beginning to prepare this post, I was amazed to hear what was being read in the refectory about this (now past) Sunday's Gospel (Luke 14:1,7-14):
"We often say that we are nothing, the worst of men, the world's refuse. But we would be sorry to have someone take us at our word or spread our own account of ourselves. On the contrary we make a show of retreating and hiding, so that someone may run after us and seek us out; we pretend to want to be the last, seated at the foot of the table, but only in order to move 'humbly' to the head. True humility makes no pretense and speaks no tone of humility. For it desires not merely to hide the other virtues, but first and foremost to hide itself... let us not cast down our eyes without humbling our hearts, let us only seem to wish to be last if we have the real desire for it."I thought to myself, boy! This sounds perfect for the post I am writing. It is just what St. Francis de Sales would say.... then the reader said "And that was taken from Introduction to a Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales" (Book III, ch 5). So the Lord really seems to wish this little post to come to you now and Holy Father has even provided us with his own words to sit with. What could I possibly add to that?!
Just one thing, an oft-quoted phrase of our dear St. Francis de Sales:
"Be who you are and be that well"