Wisdom of Sirach 3:18

The greater you are, the more humble yourself, and you shall find favor before the Lord.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
You should listen to John, you heretic. You should listen to the one who runs forward as you run backwards. You should listen to the humble, you who are proud. You should listen to the burning oil lamp, you unlit lamp. Listen to what John said when people came to him. "I baptize you with water." You too, if you would only acknowledge what you really are, are a minister of water. "I," he says, "baptize you with water; but he who shall come is far greater than I." How much greater than you is he? "I am not worthy to undo the lace of his sandal." How much would he have humiliated himself had he said he was worthy of this? In reality, he said he was not even worthy to do this"to undo the lace of his sandal. "It is he who baptizes you with the Holy Spirit." " Repeat what the friend of the Bridegroom says instead of drawing attention to yourself and away from the Bridegroom. "Neither is he that plants anything, nor he that waters, but God who lets it grow." Listen again to the one we are tal...


AD 735
After the Virgin was found worthy to be exalted by seeing and hearing the angel, and after she had learned that she was to be honored by a divine birth, she did not become proud because of these heavenly gifts as though she deserved them. In order that she might become more and more worthy of these gifts, however, she kept her mind focused on the custody of humility and thus responded to the angel who had brought her the annunciation: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word." As we have learned subsequently from the reading of today, she also demonstrated this same humility that she had shown the angel to humankind, and"which is even more significant"even to those who were inferior to her. Who does not know that a virgin consecrated to God has greater dignity than a married woman? Who doubts that the mother of the eternal King is to be placed before the mother of one of his soldiers? She, however, is mindful of the Scriptures that prescribe "The greater...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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