Retreat with St. Paul of the Cross- Day 8

On November 30th,1720 Paul Daneo writes: “St. Andrew Apostle. During prayer I was dry and distracted; at holy Communion I was recollected and afterwards I shed many tears. I remember that I kept praying to my Jesus to grant me the greatest degree of humility. I wanted to be the least of mankind, the very scum of the earth, and I kept praying to the Blessed Virgin with many tears to obtain this grace for me. I remember that I asked my Jesus to teach me what degree of humility is most pleasing to Him, and I heard this answer in my heart: When you cast yourself in spirit under the feet of all creatures, even beneath the feet of devils, that is what pleases me most. I had already understood that when one goes lower than hell, beneath the feet of devils, then God raises one to paradise. Because, just as the devil desires the highest place in paradise and for his pride was cast into the very depths of hell so, on the contrary, the soul which humbles itself below hell makes the devil tremble and overcomes him and the Sovereign Good exults it to paradise. I know that all this is from God: to Him be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.   

 Berta’s entry:  Dear Jesus, on that particular day Paul Daneo was praying to You, my Lord Jesus, to grant him the greatest degree of humility. He asked You to teach him what degree of humility was most pleasing to You, and this is what he heard as an answer from You: “When you cast yourself in spirit under the feet of all creatures, even beneath the feet of devils, that is what pleases me the most.”      Wow, Lord Jesus, I would say that that would be a form of dying to self. To be humbled to that magnitude would be just like what You faced during Your Passion– no concern for self, no attention to pain and mistreatment, no concern about what others see or say to You, only love, Your eyes on the Supreme Good, Your Father, to whom You chose to be obedient, Who loves You and has asked this of You. And of course there is Your compassion, which leads You to think of the good of others rather than for Yourself.     I have to admit that right now I’m not quite ready for that, but I’ll try, my God, to get as close as I can to the example of humility You taught us with Your Passion. Help me! I do love You and want to prove it!    

 Orlando’s entry: Disturbing day, pulling me away from prayer. The new cable installations came (with the danger of catching COVID) and took a big chunk of the day. There were so many complications. The day was dark and dreary, but Berta my love and I forced ourselves into our readings and sharing-prayer for the 40-day retreat… today’s theme.. humility. Paolo wants to feel like he is the least of creation, even below devils. Upon looking at myself I realize that the once glorious angels turned into devils were certainly above little-old me, who is potentially as wicked as them! But HE the Beloved put Himself even lower than that in His Passion, so, like a Divine Atlas, He could lift up the whole mess into the arms of the all-loving God! Thank You, thank You, thank You Beloved Savior… Prince of Peace!  

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