Thanks Michael Brown of Spiritdaily for your headline article.
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NEW SAINT JOHN XXIII HAD SURPRISINGLY SIMPLE INTERIOR LIFE AND SAID HE SUFFERED FROM VATICAN PRETENSIONS
In a newly released book of his meditations and notes, Pope John XXIII -- now Saint John XXIII -- accented the crucial nature of humility and said he
often found a dearth of it in the Church hierarchy -- a surprising admission.
"All the wise men of this world, all the wily ones of the earth, even Vatican diplomats... make such a bad impression when seen in the light of
simplicity and grace emanating from this great and fundamental teaching of Jesus and His saints!" he wrote, speaking of humility, in The Secret To
Happiness (which we happily recommend).
"My colleagues are good ecclesiastics.
"I appreciate their excellent qualities; I am very fond of them and they deserve every good.
"But I suffer much in relation to them," he wrote. "On some days and in some circumstances I am tempted to react strongly.
"But I prefer silence, believing it to be a more eloquent and effective instruction."
Interesting stuff; guidance for us all.
How much has worldliness -- and the pride of worldliness -- infiltrated various dioceses? Are bishops humble? Are priests?
While the deep spiritual life of this Pontiff has been obscured by the controversies (and aftereffects) of Vatican II (some of which we do indeed
contemplate), the depth of John XXIII's spirituality is in no doubt after reading this valuable little book. In particular, the new saint put special
emphasis precisely on littleness. The littleness that sees others as big. Seeing the best in others, he said, gives one peace.
"My character is inclined toward compliance and to readily seeing the good side of people and things rather than criticizing and judging harshly,"
wrote the late Pope, in notations recorded through the years, including before his elevation to the Throne of Peter. "Any type of ill treatment or
distrust shown toward anyone, but especially toward the humble, the poor, the lowly; every harsh and thoughtless judgment causes me pain and great
When we rid pride, indicated John XXIII, there is room for grace. With grace comes hope. When we have hope, we are strong. When we lose hope, we lose
Pride enervates. It saps our energy. It is often the root of negativity. Pride separates us. It is false strength. Humility is true power.
Ridding pride frees us. So does doing God's Will -- and caring about little but that. When we rid pride we gain in charity.
"The surest way to my personal sanctification and successful service to the Holy See is the constant effort to reduce everything -- principles,
objectives, position, business -- to the utmost simplicity and tranquility," he wrote, "to always prune my vineyard of useless leaves and tendrils
and concentrate on truth, justice, and charity, but above all charity. Every other way of acting is pretension and a search for personal affirmation,
which soon reveals itself as absurd and burdensome."
Complexity is inferior, always, to the simplicity of wisdom.
Wisdom has no earthly attachments.
Despite what would occur in his life, despite what would become an exalted existence, despite world fame, the core of this Supreme Pontiff was about
doing the Will of God and he was ready, as he underscores, to suffer any "tribulation."
The Lord caused him, he said, to "feel the beauty and sweetness of the spirit of poverty."...