The Year of Humility
8th December 2006 - 8th December 2007
The liturgical year 2006/2007, on indication of the Mother of the Eucharist, has been reserved by H.E. Mons. Claudio Gatti, Bishop ordained by God, to the virtue of humility.
Humility, as affirmed many times by the Mother of the Eucharist in her messages, is truth, because it means acknowledging that the gifts and capacities each one has, are gifts of God's goodness, who gave them to us for our brothers.
Humility is our affirmation of being God's children: He, good and solicitous Father, gave liberally to each one of us some gifts that, with responsibility and spirit of service, we have to make fructify, not for our vainglory, but for the good of our brothers. Being proud of having a particular attitude or a special ability and not ascribing them to God, or denying to have them means sinning against the truth.
In the wake of humility we can surely place Mary, the Mother of God, who even raised to dizzy heights that make her the the most humanly and spiritually elevated creature, says in Magnificat: " he has looked with favour on his lowly servant, the Almighty has done great things for me ", so pointing out that her elevated condition is just fruit of God's intervention.
Our Bishop often uses to remind the figure of St. Joseph as an example of humility and love who lived in silence. He dominated his pride and won against his ego, reserving the first place to God and just afterwards to the neighbour, while he always wanted the last place for himself. St. Joseph reached the highest peaks of humility because with love and solicitude, even at the cost of privations, incomprehensions and sufferings, he protected the little Jesus.
In the Gospel Jesus says: "Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you" (Matthew 6,1-5). Humility becomes style of christian life when we dominate in silence ourselves and our capacities for the good of our neighbours; just in that moment we will show to have given unselfishly, to have loved without pretending to get something back.
Here is the reason why the Year of Humility follows the Year of Love that has just ended: love and humility integrate perfectly and complete each other only together, so that we may resemble Christ who hugs the weak and the last ones saying: "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest".
If we live united with God and our goal is to enjoy eternally His beatific vision, our only worry must be God's judgement. But if the only gratification we aim at is the acknowledgement and the glory on behalf of men, then will be valid for us the words of the Gospel: "The first will be the last, and the last the first" and what Mary said in Magnificat: "He casted down the mighty from their thrones and lifted up the lowly".
An other example of humility, given to us this year by our Bishop, is John Paul I, a Pope who, even for a few days, left an indelible imprint in our times, indicating through his life the way of living the great mission of papacy with simplicity and humility: paying attention to the little and the last ones, serving rather than being served, not aiming at the first places. He loved saying: "High clouds don't give rain", if the man lifts up himself too much and loses contact with his brothers he becomes useless and sterile.
In the Gospel is written: "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father" (John 14,12). How is all this possible? If we live in a state of grace and united with God through the Sacraments, if the "great works" we aim at are those of charity and reciprocal love, all is possible and after we will have done our best, we will have to say with great humility: "We are useless servants", acknowledging our inadequacy if compared to the infinite greatness of God and of the gifts of his love.
The examples of humility we cited are great, but we cannot omit the two examples dearest to us and closest to our community: the Bishop ordained by God, Mons. Claudio Gatti, and our sister Marisa. Their life is a hymn to love and humility: they have not asked honours, glorifications and offices, but they just said a unique, unconditioned and suffered yes to God's mission for the Church and mankind.
They have been praying and suffering in silence in their home for 35 years, asking only God's help to be able to carry on this hard mission. The Bishop never asked the episcopate for himself, indeed, when he received it, he trembled and cried, but he obeyed to God's will and due to this he was unfairly condemned, offended and derided. In her room of sorrow Marisa keeps on suffering and offering days and nights in silence, sometimes without revealing either to the Bishop her pains to spare him worries and sufferings.
If just for one moment we could understand the simplicity, greatness and suffering of these two souls, we could understand thoroughly that love and humility are virtues that can be reached only if we are intimately united with Christ the Eucharist and Christ the Word who feed and illuminate us on the way to Paradise.