Meditation For Sunday: Think On Christ His Humility 1596 (anon.)
VITALE DA BOLOGNA
Madonna dell'Umiltà (detail)
First consider with humility the son of God, he who was the chief monarch of the world came from heaven, and showing himself in the pure womb of the humble virgin Marie, debased himself, taking on him the shape of a servant. Desire therefore the same Lord to give thee perfect humility, and that he will endue thee with such grace, that all pride, vainglory, and delight in thy self, amy be utterly rooted out of thy heart: and at sundry times consider with thy self to how many, and how great imperfections as yet thou art subject unto, into what vices thou dost daily and miserably fall, and how hitherto that hast increased in virtue.
Secondly consider with what lowliness of hart he suffered himself to be baptised of St. John Baptist, as though he had been a sinful creature that had stood in need to be washed and made clean: who notwithstanding being perfect God and man, was free from all spot of sin, and gave to St John all such grace, as was in him.Therefore thou that art as it were a poor worm after the example of thy creator, submit thyself to all such as teach and instruct thee, albeit they are inferior and worse than thou.
Thirdly call to mind that marvelous humility of his, when at the time that his passion drew near, to show man his infirmity, he opened his sorrow to his Disciples and said: My soul is very sad unto death. Whereas for all that, he it is that giveth perfect joy, not to those only that are in earth, but to such also that live in heaven, learn therefore not to put too much trust in thyself, not nor to presume over much of thine own strength in temptations, whether they chance by inward suggestion or other ways, but being lowly in thine own sight, be not ashamed both to ask, and to receive counsel also of other men.
Fourthly, remember how humbly Christ the most mighty Lord of all other, as it were a man utterly desitute of all help, cast himself prostrate on his face, and with his tears prayed to his father, that we might be rid of our sin, and his love was so great towards us, that he sweat blood abundantly. For this cause in all thy miseries and heaviness of hart humbly pray unto Christ thy Saviour, and for the love thou bearest to him have no respect to thyself, but refer thyself to his good pleasure.
Fifthly, think with thyself, with what humility, and how willingly he yeilded himself to his heavenly father (in whom as touching his godhead he was equal for all that) saying: Not my will but thine be fulfilled. And that he disdained not to be comforted by an Angel, who otherwise is the comforter of all the world, and comfortest all men in their extremities. Go therefore that thou in most humble manner from the bottom of thy heart, submit thyself to God his will in all things that may happen to thee, either by motion of mind or outwardly, looking for heavenly comfort with most assured hope.
At the end of the meditation say this prayer:
O Lord Jesu Christ son of the living God, thou who art the true God, and the most mighty maker and presever of all things, who to leave us an example of humility, came from the high heaven down to the earth, here taking on thee our frail and weak nature, who as an unpure and sinful creature, would be baptised of St John thy servant, at such time as thy passion drew on, showed thy sorrowful heart to thy loving disciples, and lying groveling on the ground after that hadst sweat blood and water, didst put thyself wholly to thy Father his pleasure, and didst besides all this many other things, wherein were evident tokens of marvalous humility, willingly to submit myself to all men, that I think not too well of myself, but be vile and of no reputation in my own sight, and desire so to be accounted of others. Who livest and reignest with the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost world without end.