Humility will make us discover that everything good that exists in us comes from God, both in the order of nature and in the order of grace: My substance is as nothing before you, O Lord, exclaims the Psalmist. What is specifically ours is weakness and error. At the same time, this virtue has nothing to do with timidity, faint-heartedness or mediocrity. Far from being embarrassed, the humble soul places itself in God's hands, and is filled with joy and gratitude when God wants to do great things through it. The saints have been magnanimous men, capable of great undertakings for the glory of God. The humble person is audacious because he counts on the grace of the Lord, who can do all things; he frequently goes to prayer - he is very prayerful - because he is convinced of the absolute necessity of divine help; he is grateful, with God and with his fellow men, because he is aware of the many helps he receives; he has a special facility for friendship and, therefore, for the apostolate.... And although humility is the foundation of all the virtues, it is the foundation of charity in a very particular way: to the extent that we forget ourselves, we can be concerned about others and attend to their needs. Around these two virtues are found all the others. Humility and charity are the mother virtues," says St. Francis de Sales; "the others follow them like chicks to their broody brood". Pride, on the contrary, is the "root and mother" of all sins, even of the capital ones14 , and the greatest obstacle that man can put in the way of grace.
Pride and sadness often go hand in hand , while joy is the patrimony of the humble soul: "Look at Mary. No creature has ever surrendered herself more humbly to the designs of God. The humility of the ancilla Domini (Lk 1:38), of the handmaid of the Lord, is the reason why we invoke her as causa nostrae laetitiae, the cause of our joy. Eve, after sinning, desiring in her folly to be equal to God, hid herself from the Lord and was ashamed: she was sad. Mary, confessing herself to be the handmaid of the Lord, is made Mother of the divine Word, and is filled with joy. May this joy of hers, that of a good Mother, be ours: may we go out in this to her - to St. Mary - and thus we will be more like Christ".