On Retreat, Holy Land, Lent 1898
Following the servant Christ to the last place
[Christ:] See [my] devotion to men and consider what your own should be. See that humility for man’s good and learn to humble yourself to do good…; to make yourself small to win others; not to fear to go lower or lose your rights when it is a matter of doing good; not to believe that in descending you make yourself powerless to do good.
To the contrary, by descending you imitate me; by descending you make use of the same means, for the love of humankind, that I myself employed; by descending you walk in my way and, therefore, in the truth and you are in the best place to lay hold of life and give it to others…By my incarnation I place myself on a level with creatures; by my baptism …on that of sinners; descent, humility…Always descend, always humble yourself.
Let those who are first always stand in the last place, through humility and in disposition of spirit, with an attitude of descent and service. Love of men, humility, the last place: in the last place so long as the divine will does not call you to another, since then you must obey.
Obedience before all else; conformity to God’s will. In the first place be spiritually in the last, through humility: occupy it in the spirit of service, telling yourself that you are only there to serve others and lead them to salvation.