From "The Little Flowers, Legends, and Lauds"

Edited by Otto Karrer,
Translated by N.Wydenbruck
1979, Sheed & Ward, London.

E.Morrogh Bernard,
Vicar General, Westminister
Aug.14, 1947

Saturday, December 11, 2010

How Brother Masseo obtained from the blessed Lord the perfect virtue of humility (32)

The first companions of St.Francis strove with all their might to be poor in earthly goods and rich in virtues, by which one can obtain the true wealth of heavenly and eternal riches. One day it happend that they were gathered together and talkin of God, and one of them told them this example: "Once there was a man who was a great friend of God and possessed much grace of active and contemplative life, and also a so excessive and deep humility that he considered himself the greatest of sinners; this humility sanctified him and confirmed him in the state of grace, and made him continually increase in virtue and in God's gifts, and never allowed him to fall into sin."

When Brother Masseo heard such marvellous things said of humility, and knowing that it was a treasure of eternal life, he began to be so inflamed with love and desire for this virtue of humility that, raising his eyes to heaven in great fervour, he made a vow and firm resolve never to rejoice again in this world until he should feel the perfection of this virtue in his soul. From then on he remained almost continually locked up in his cell, mortifying himself with fasts, vigils, orisons and bitter tears before the Lord, so as to obtain from Him this virtue without which he considered himself worthy of hell, and which had been so abundantly given to that friend of God he had heard about.

When Brother Masseo had been in this state for many days, it happened that one day he went into the wood and in fervour of spirit he roamed around, shedding abundant tears, sighing and moaning, and imploring God with Fervent desire to give him this divine virtue. Because God willingly grants the prayers of humble and contrite hearts, while Brother Masseo was thus praying, a voice came from heaven and called him twice: "Brother Masseo! Brother Masseo!"

And he, knowing by the spirit that this was the voice of Christ, answered thus: "My Lord, my Lord." And Christ said to him: "What will you give to have this grace you ask?" And Brother Masseo answered: "Lord, I will give the eyes of my head." Christ said to him: "But I will that you should have the grace and keep your eyes."

And having said this, the voice ceased, and Brother Masseo remained filled with such grace of the desired virtue of humility and with the light of God, that from then on he was always in a state of jubilation; and sometimes, when he prayed, he would keep up a monotonous sound of jubilation like the deep cooing of a turtledove, "uh! uh! uh!" and with a happy countenance and a joyful heart he would remain thus in contemplation, and he had now become profoundly humble, he considered himself to be less than any man in the world. When Brother Jacopo da Falerone asked him why, in his song of jubilation, he never changed his tone, he replied very happily that if we find all contentment in a thing, there was not need to change a note. Praised be Jesus Christ.

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