“Remain humble. Remain simple. The more you are so, the more good you will do.”
~ St. John Vianney
St. John Vianney was known as the Cure of Ars. He was ordained a priest in 1815 and three years later he was made parish priest of Ars, a town with a population of 230 in remote France. The location was so remote, in fact, that John got lost trying to find the town where he had been assigned.
Preaching and teaching his people, John’s reputation was centered upon his work as as a confessor and spiritual director. He was a great mystic and exemplified extreme patience, especially with his penitents. He heard confessions for sixteen hours each day. When he died, 300 priests concelebrated his funeral Mass with the bishop and over 6,000 people attended the Mass.
How did he come to gather so many people around him? Humility and simplicity. John was not high and mighty. He did not lord himself over others. Instead, he spoke the truth revealed to him by God. Sometimes, he was quite direct, telling people they had better get to confession and announcing their sin to them. But everything that he said and did was done out of a deep desire to protect the souls entrusted to him.
There are so many times that we want to be great. We want people to know all about us and our skills and accomplishments. We want to be the center of people’s attention. That is not what the Lord has in mind for us, though. God wants us to be humble servants, dealing with others in simplicity. It is then that we can speak to one another soul to soul.
FAITH ACTION: Ask the Lord to grant you a true spirit of humility and simplicity this day.