Day #5: Hiddenness
MARY: Do you know what is the real cause of the life and the beauty of a flower? … You see its brilliant shades, smell its delicate fragrance and yet you don?t recognize that all of this buds forth from those humble roots which are hidden in the barren and often muddy earth. It is the humble earth that secures the vital part of a flower and in it that the roots are hidden and these cannot give life to the flower if they are not hidden! Virtue is always born from an intimate and profound hiddenness! Flowers must certainly be seen for Jesus says: ?Let your good deeds be seen by others?, but the seeds from which they bud, the life of the heart must remain concealed and hidden.
How many times do you not love to appear virtuous before those who see you and seek the vain praise of others? Then you remove the root from being hidden, it unhappily dries up and also the flower wilts and dies. The paid gardener cuts the flower and ties it to an artificial stem so that it may be admired … but in doing this he kills it! When you seek human praise, you cut the flower of virtue and you place it on an artificial stem … After empty praise it is nothing more than a mass of withered leaves. Therefore love hiddenness and desire that only God sees you and reads the secret of your heart.
THE SOUL: O Mary, open your humble Heart to me as a refuge so that I may hide myself in it! Human
praise disturbs me, agitates me, makes me so ugly and I recognize that I get worse after praise. I?m full of pride and I can?t free myself of it except by hiding myself in God! O Mary, give me the strength to flee human praise and my vanity!
ASPIRATION: O Mary, give me humility of heart.
LITTLE WORK: When something redounds to your praise, don?t say it for the love of holy humility.
About the Meditations
The daily School of Mary meditations come from the book, A Month with Mary, written by a holy Italian priest Father Dolindo Ruotolo (1882-1970). Originally written as spiritual thoughts to his spiritual daughter, the work is comprised of thirty-one meditations for the month of May.
Father Dolindo wrote A Month with Mary on pocket-sized pages joined into small fascicles of 8 to 12 pages. He sent them to Laura de Rosis every two to three days and later transcribed them with some modifications in volume III of his autobiography: The Story of My Life in the Plan of the Great Mercy of God, pp. 1140ff (cf. Epistolario 1:212n, 218n). This work is from 1912: one of those years which passed in the life of Father Dolindo with the cadence of a ?Way of the Cross? ? But he, serene as ever, loved Christ the more, loved Our Lady the more and reflected on this love in these few pages to which he wished to give the significant title: A Profound Reform of Heart in the School of Mary. These meditations are written in the style of the Imitation of Christ. (90pp. laminated gloss, saddle stitch)