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The Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage, by Jan van Ruysbroeck, [1916], at





Now understand this: we find in Christ, according to His Godhead, two kinds of humility.

The first kind is this: that He willed to become man, and took upon Himself that very nature which had been banished and cursed to the bottom of hell, and willed to become one with it according to His personality; so that now any man, either good or evil, can say: Christ, the Son of God, is my brother.

The second kind of humility according to His Godhead consists in this; that He chose a poor maiden, and not a king's daughter, for His mother, so that a poor maiden should be the mother of God, who is Lord of heaven and earth and all creatures.

And further, we can say of all the works of humility which Christ ever wrought, that they were wrought by God Himself.

Now let us take the humility which was in Christ according to His manhood and through the grace and the gifts of God. In this humility His soul with all its powers bowed down in reverence and adoration before the most high might of the Father; for a bowed down heart is a humble heart. And therefore He wrought all His works for the praise and for the honour of His Father, and never and in nothing sought His own glory according to His humanity.

He was humble and subject to the old law, and to the commandments, and also to custom whenever such was right. And that is why He was circumcised, and taken into the temple, and redeemed in the customary way; and He paid His tribute money to Caesar like any other Jew. And He was humble and subject to His mother and to the lord Joseph; and that is why He served them with true reverence according to all their needs. He chose poor and outcast people for His comrades, to live with, and wherewith to convert the world: these were the Apostles. And He was lowly and meek among them and among all other men. And He was ever ready for all men in whatever inward or outward need they might be: as if he were the servant of all the world.

This is the first point which we find in Christ our Bridegroom.


Next: Chapter VI. Of Charity