Friday, May 20, 2011

Checkmate this Divine King

It was humility that drew God down to knock on creation’s door, and it was humility that let Him in. The humble handmaid of the Lord was greeted by an angel and asked to be the Mother of God. St. Teresa of Avila writes of the humility of the Blessed Virgin Mary that was so necessary for the Incarnation. She sees the Incarnation as a chess match where Mary checkmates the King by her humility. 

“The queen is the piece that can carry on the best battle in this game, and all the other pieces help. There’s no queen like humility for making the King surrender. Humility drew the King from heaven to the womb of the Virgin, and with it, by one hair, we will draw Him to our souls. And realize that the one who has more humility will be the one who possess Him more; and the one who has less will possess Him less. For I cannot understand how there could be humility without love or love without humility; nor are these two virtues possible without detachment from all creatures.”
(Way of Perfection, 16:2)
And who possess Him more than Mary who bore Him in her womb? God was to give her a truly great gift, one that would cause all generations to praise her. Mary’s humility shows that we are to accept the graces and gifts God gives to us and to others. We are not talking of false humility. Humility that is false fails to recognize the gifts as gifts. The truly humble recognize their nothingness and see all as God’s gifts. This we see in the Blessed Mother’s actions and in her beautiful canticle - the Magnificat.

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