Humility of Heart-1906, Original English Translation Edition
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Mandeville, LA – “HUMILITY OF HEART” which is best described by Father Cajetan de Bergamo the author of the original work as summarized recently by the web-blog Unam Sanctam Catholicam:
In the early 18th century, a priest named Fr. Cajetan Mary de Bergamo (d. 1753) wrote a treatise entitled Humility of Heart, which was popularized by the English Cardinal Vaughn in his 1903 translation and has subsequently become a classic on the virtue. In his treatise, Bergamo insists on the universal practice of humility, but notes that the way humility looks externally will vary depending on one’s station in life. He says:
“Humility of heart…has no limits, because before God we can always abase ourselves more and more, even unto utter nothingness, and we can do the same to our fellow men; but in the exercise of these exterior acts of humility, it is necessary to be directed with discretion, in order not to fall into an extravagance that might seem excessive…
Profound humility should exist in every state of life, but exterior acts of humility are not expedient to all. For this reason Holy Writ says, “Beware that thou be not deceived into folly, and be humbled” (Ecclus 13:10).
To practice humility of heart in the midst of pomp and honors, we can learn from the pious Esther, how she cried to God, “Thou knowest my necessity, how I abominate the sign of my pride” (Est. 14:16). I attire myself in this rich apparel and with these jewels because my position demands it; but Thou, Lord, seest my heart, that through Thy grace I am not attached to these things, nor this apparel, and that I only wear them of necessity. Here indeed is a great example of that true inward humility which can be practiced and felt amid external grandeur.”
Editor Mike Church describes why he wanted to re-publish this work .
“What I have learned from this little book has altered my thinking on and approach to The Faith so profoundly it is difficult to describe, but I will try. In the first paragraph Fr. Cajetan lays out the conclusion “in Paradise there is no Saint who was not humble.” From there Father leads us on a meditation of what Humility is and how we may learn the disciplines necessary to acquire this most primary of Graces; but Father also cautions against ever coming to believe one has achieved Humility for as Augustine says “If there be holiness in you, fear lest you may lose it. How? Through pride.” I have learned through reading, praying and meditating on this work that nearly every human action is either corrupted by Pride or made Graceful by Humility. Utilizing the lives and works of St Thomas Aquinas, St Augustine, St Bernard and St Gregory of Nanzien; Father guides us though a meditative learning process whereby the inspired words of the Saints is anchored to the greatest examples of Humility in history: the public Ministry of Our Lord , his Humble birth and the penultimate act of Our Lady at the Annunciation. “
ABOUT THIS EDITION
The following pages were scanned over the course of 5 days in July of 2015 from the Original 1906 printing of Humility of Heart, loaned to us by the college of St John’s, Collegeville, MN. The scans were done with an eye on preserving the page integrity of this very well-worn copy of Humility. For continuity we cropped the pages to a uniform size and left any additional gaps not containing book contents as they were scanned. This preserves the look and feel of the actual book as it was printed not as simply a digitized representation of its contents. Some of the pages, because of the binding, were difficult to scan and had to be digitally skewed and adjusted so they display correctly. The only additions made were on the table of contents page whose text was not legible to scan. The beautiful lithograph on the inside book cover carries the caption “EXALTAVIT HUMILES” which means “lifted up the lowly”. This piece was touched up so the caption text is legible and I patched the tears to the inner binding, which distracted from the artwork. I pray you enjoy this work and will treasure it as we have in the last six months spent preparing our new printed and digital version which will include this edition. Please consider making a donation to help cover the costs of this process.
Frederick Michael Augustine Mary Church
Madisonville, LA . 21 July, 2015