"I am the Mother of Jesus. It was the Will of God that Jesus came into the world through me so that the people will know His Power and humility."
On 17th February 1994, Christiana wrote in her book Apparition of the Virgin Mary at Aokpe Nigeria (chapter 5 page 48) “The Blessed Lady appeared in my vision and said, see I am the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Children of God must learn to control their thoughts so that they do not entertain evil in their thoughts. Pray always and sprinkle yourself with the holy water.
Be humble. It is because of my humility that God made me to become the Mother of the Savior. Become humble like the Mother of the Savior. In following Jesus, you must give your all. Follow the Way of Christ and you will become an instrument of God.
On 1st July 1994, in the Mediatrix Prayer which Our Lady gave through Christiana she asked us to pray Lady of purity of heart. Lady of good heart. Lady of honor that humbles herself.
Again, she made reference to humility on 30th August 1995 (chapter 6 page 73) when she said I am the Mother of Jesus. It was the Will of God that Jesus came into the world through me so that the people will know His Power and humility.
Humility, why so many references to it in spiritual life? In the Collins English Dictionary humility is defined as the quality of being humble and to be humble means to be conscious of one’s failings, to be modest, unpretentious and unimportant. This goes against everything the secular world tells you. Everyone is asserting their right. You cannot tell me what to do! I am looking after number one. We hear this all the time.
Lack of humility is a major factor in marital and family breakdown today. Children have run away from homes and many a husband or wife have walked out of their marital home just because of lack of humility in dealing with one another.
Let us look deeper into this virtue which the world or people find so hard to observe. Christ displays humility par excellence. He who is God, Judge of all mankind, the King of Kings took on himself our lowly human nature in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was born in abject poverty in the dead of night in mid-winter with poor shepherds, cattle and sheep as first visitors. He left himself as a memorial in a piece of bread which is often the object of sacrilege and desecration. There is none humbler than he which echoes Our Lady’s message above on 30th August 1995. Jesus himself confirmed this virtue when he said come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest, shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls Mt 11:28 In a way this scripture passage mirrors what Our Lady said on 17th February 1994.
No creature is humbler than the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is the perfect example of humility. We are exhorted to imitate her. According to visionaries, theologians and the Church Fathers, humility is the virtue most valued by Our Lady. She said so in the messages above and in the Magnificat which we recite or sing at vespers and in the Catena Legionis beloved of legionaries world-wide where she says He looks on his servant in her lowliness Lk 1:46-55. Lowliness here means humility.
Servant of God, Frank Duff (7 June 1889-7 Sept 1921) Founder of Legion of Mary in the Legion’s Handbook says that only when humility exists will God bestow his favours and when humility fades those gifts will be withdrawn. There are countless examples of people who had it all and lost everything in the twinkle of an eye. Holy Father St Benedict (480-547 AD) the Father of Western Monasticism ranks humility above all virtues and devoted the longest chapter in the Rule Book of St Benedict to the subject of humility and goes on to describe 12 steps of attaining this virtue.
Humility is so highly valued by God. Recall the Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (Lk 18:9-12) where the Pharisee was so pompous and self-serving and the tax collector the exact opposite being so humble not daring to even raise his eyes to heaven but, simply beat his breast and said God be merciful to me a sinner. What did Jesus say? I tell you this man the tax collector went home again right with God, the other did not. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled but, the man who humbles himself will be exalted. Without humility we cannot be saved. It is humility that takes you to the confessional box to kneel down and beg for God’s mercy. If you don’t have humility to do that, how can you be saved?
Our arch enemy the Devil, the Deceiver, the Father of Lies and whatever name he is known lacks this virtue of humility. Though pure, Lucifer was not humble and pride was his downfall. He is always seeking to take others down with him (1 Peter 5:8). Don’t let him.
The quest for humility is a lifelong battle which one cannot win singlehanded. A firm support is needed and that support is Mary, Our Mother. Leaning upon her with complete trust you cannot fail. I do not know any saint who did not have great devotion to Our Lady. Do you know any?
Finally, as a food for thought I will recount what Fr Leo Clifford OFM a regular contributor to EWTN Catholic TV Network while reflecting on the Parable of the Wedding Feast (Mt 22: 1-14) said about humility. He says if you want to go to heaven and partake in the banquet of the Lamb for all eternity then you must clothe yourself with the garment of humility. The guest who was bound and cast out into the dark where there will be weeping and grinding of the teeth was, he who was not wearing the wedding garment which is thought to represent humility. He lacked humility. So, there you have it. Am I going to Heaven or Not Fr Beirne asks us in his book? If you answer yes then you have to cultivate and be clothe with humility.
In summary dear brothers and sisters, God can accomplish great things in us and by us as he did for the Blessed Virgin Mary but, he will not do so unless he finds us completely humble. Humility alone is the fertile ground in which God’s gifts multiply and draws down upon us Divine graces and favours. Let us implore Our Blessed Mother to grant us the grace of humility always.
Jesus meek and humble of heart, make our hearts like unto thine.
Our Lady of Aokpe Mediatrix of all Graces, pray for us.