Monday, 31 December 2012

Humility of Heart

Despite the rather long gap between this blog and the last, the icon has still been working!  Perhaps it has been working on a much deeper level.  Right through advent and Christmas the icon served to focus my mind on the meaning of the incarnation and the nativity of Jesus.  Above all it has, I believe, drawn me to reflect on the essential message of  the Heart of the Saviour: the mystery of God’s Love and mercy.  By focusing on this at the very centre of the icon, the mind naturally turns to the great models of humility – the Virgin and St. John the Baptist.  In doing so, it brings us time and time again to Mathew 11.29-30 in which Christ tells us precisely what we must learn from him: we have to cultivate the growth of a gentle and humble heart. In this one instruction is revealed the doorway through which we must pass.  In this  brief statement we find the direction we must take in order to become united with Christ Omega.  By taking this path we find that all other roads converge: humility is the way. With this in mind I paid a visit to Westminster Cathedral on the feast of St Thomas Becket. And, whilst looking for something else encountered the chapel which contains the  remains of Cardinal  Herbert Vaughan (1832–1903).  (Read here. )

This got me thinking about Vaughan and humility which resulted in the rediscovery of his translation of Fr. Cajetan Mary da Bergamo’s great book on humility, Humility of Heart. The Cardinal worked on this translation in his dying days and was his way of stating what, ultimately, he had learnt in his life.  It is an inspiring book which is still in print, and  well worth reading. (You can also read it on line, HERE. ) I was looking for his predecessor, Cardinal Manning (1808-1892)  whose book on the Glories of the Sacred Heart I have been reading. ( Read Here. ) So, the discovery of Vaughan's translation is a wonderful way to end the year and begin a new one.