Thou hast wounded my heart, my sister, my spouse, thou hast wounded my heart with one of thy eyes, and with one hair of thy neck.Song of Solomon 4:9
There’s no queen like humility for making the King surrender. Humility drew the King from heaven to the womb of the Virgin, and with it, by one hair, we will draw Him to our souls.
And realize that the one who has more humility will be the one who possesses Him more; and, the one who has less will possess Him less.
For I cannot understand how there could be humility without love or love without humility; nor are these two virtues possible without detachment from all creatures.
Saint Teresa of Avila
The Way of Perfection, chap. 16, no. 2
Teresa of Avila, St. 1985, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K; Rodriguez, O, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
Featured image: This painting of the Annunciation by the French artist Philippe de Champaigne (1602–1674) was executed ca. 1644 in oil on oak; it comes to us from the collection of European paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Their gallery label provides us with the following information:
Philippe de Champaigne’s paintings have been described as combining “a scrupulous perfectionism verging on coldness with an inner life of deep intensity.” A key protagonist of French classicism, his work was partially motivated by an association with Jansenism, the severe Counter-Reformation movement that was eventually suppressed by Louis XIV. This painting was one of several by the leading artists of the day executed in Paris for the small private chapel of Queen Anne of Austria (1601–1666), the widowed wife of Louis XIII.
We add that Queen Anne was a major benefactor to the expansion of the Discalced Carmelite nuns in France; and, in particular, we mention her influence that led to the foundation of the Carmel of Compiègne in 1641.