This post is a part of a Marian Virtue Series written by 12 different bloggers, If you are just joining the series now and want to learn more you can start here: Introduction to Marian Virtue Series. The series will conclude on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Next Blog Article: Lively Faith at Not So Formulaic
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I love lists - my day starts off with a quickly jotted down 'to-do' list and I love when I get to cross off things throughout the day. I even write down the mundane things I need to do so that I can check off even more things. Eat lunch? Check.
So when Bethany asked me to join her in a series of posts that highlight the ten virtues of Mary, I was excited. A list! I was expecting to find a list of ten, unachievable virtues - a reminder that I was so very far away from holiness and nothing in comparison to the Blessed Mother. But I was surprised to find that I love this list of Marian virtues (and this series!) because it gives a road map of how I can grow closer to Christ one Marian virtue at a time.
To be completely honest with you, I am not the best person to be writing this post. In fact, I'm the person who needs to be reading and learning from a post on humility. I'm deficient in every one of the ten Marian virtues, but profound humility? You're talking to the woman who confesses pride every. single. time. in confession.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux once was asked what were the three most important elements of the spiritual life and he replied, "Humility, humility, and humility."
We often think that humility is about thinking less of ourselves, or thinking that we are not worthy. But the reality is that humility is not thinking less of ourselves, but thinking of ourselves less.
And all of this sounds great in abstract terms, but holy smokes, it's hard to live out on a daily basis in my own life - the times that I've confessed pride can give that one away. So when it comes to concrete ways to nurture the virtue of humility, who better to turn to than the Blessed Mother?
In the Bible, when we're introduced to Mary at the Annunciation, her profound humility is recognizable right away. Can you imagine being in Mary’s shoes? The Angel Gabriel just appeared to her and told her, that despite her virginity, she was going to be the mother of the Savior of the World. But instead of getting a moment to process a huge life-altering announcement, Mary is instead asked to go visit her cousin Elizabeth - a woman who was once called barren but, through a chain of miraculous events, was expecting a baby, too.
I would have done a double take. Announce that I’m pregnant with GOD and then tell me to take a road trip? No thank you. And God wasn't asking Mary to just take a quick jog down the road. Tradition tells us that Elizabeth and Zechariah probably lived in or near the city of Hebron - which was nearly a 100 mile long trip from Nazareth. So it would have taken Mary about a week or longer to make the journey on foot.
Yet Mary wasn’t miffed about Elizabeth's pregnancy – granted, it helped that she was immaculately conceived and didn’t struggle with sin. But if I had been in her place, pride would have creeped into my heart. God has just been conceived in my womb, but I was being asked to go celebrate Elizabeth’s miraculous pregnancy?
But Mary wasn’t angry, jealous, or judgmental. She didn’t go to visit Elizabeth out of curiosity or to see if the Angel Gabriel was telling her the truth. Instead she humbly went to visit her cousin and celebrate her blessings.
Beautifully, Mary is rewarded for her humble acceptance of God’s will. When she reaches the end of her trip, Elizabeth greets her with humility, beautifully pausing to rejoice over Mary’s role as the Mother of God. Mary, who had made the journey with a mission to serve, found herself praised and blessed. Mary, who has thought of herself less and placed Elizabeth's joy before her own, is rewarded by God for her virtue.
I'm not going to lie. Humility is often a hard pill for me to swallow. But instead of being discouraged when I struggle with this virtue, I can turn to the Blessed Virgin. Like Saint Therese of Lisieux once said, "What a joy to remember that Mary is our mother! Since she loves us and knows our weakness, what have we to fear?"
Mother Mary, meek and humble, hear us! Lend us your heart. Help us to foster the virtue of humility in our everyday lives.
One lucky reader will win an 8” x 10” print which depicts Our Lady's "yes" to the angel Gabriel. It has a clean graphic style with a balance of soft and intense hues.
Congratulations to Allison G! Thank you for reading and entering the giveaway! Don't forget to check out the rest of the posts in this series!
Providential Co. is a little shop in Texas that seeks to share the beauty of the Gospel through thoughtfully designed and crafted goods and gifts. Tricia Dugat is a graphic designer, wife, mom and to the Catholic faith. She founded Providential Co. in 2016 with the hope of sharing the beauty of Christianity and providing customers with quality and craftsmanship – items to take along the journey of this or to give to the people they care about knowing they were made with thought and care.
Please support this amazing Catholic shop and continue to join us in this Marian Virtue Series.