The magnanimous person pursues greatness in proportion to his ability. He humbly takes stock of all the gifts that God has given him and seeks to use them as best he can. As Aquinas explains, "Magnanimity makes a man deem himself worthy of great things in consideration of the gifts he holds from God. While magnanimity is certainly exhibited among the famous saints who evangelized whole cultures, started new religious orders, or defended the Church against widespread heresies, it is also found in simple, small, ordinary people whose sincere desire to give the best of themselves is used by God to do extraordinary things.
But there was one Polish man who did not sit back and passively watch his country's faith be so severely attacked. Because of his magnanimity, this man not only played a key part in preserving Poland's culture amid this crisis, but his actions eventually impacted the entire world. Who was this magnanimous Polish man? You guessed it: Jan Tyranowski. Jan Tyranowski was a tailor. He was not a priest and had no formal training in theology.
But as the Nazi regime killed a third of the Polish clergy, sent thousands of priests and religious into concentration camps, and outlawed education in the faith, the Church turned to laypeople to lead underground catechetical groups to pass on the faith to the younger generation. Tyranowski led one of the most successful of these clandestine ministries, called Living Rosary groups.
At the risk of his own life, Tyranowski opened his apartment for instructing several young men in the spiritual life, and many of these men went on to form Living Rosary groups of their own with their peers. This underground ministry had such a deep effect on people's lives that 10 of the men involved eventually become priests.
Walk Humbly With Your God: Simple Steps to a Virtuous Life
What is most interesting is that one of those priests coming from this group was Karol Wojtyla, the man who eventually became John Paul II — the pope who had such a tremendous impact on the Church and the world throughout his pontificate. At first glance, this tailor's little prayer group might not appear to be that significant in the scope of world history. But when we see how the Lord used his desire to give the best of himself in a crisis situation, we realize that he did in fact playa crucial part in forming one of the most influential people the world has ever known.
Imagine if Tyranowski responded differently to the Nazi occupation of Poland. Imagine if he said he was too busy or too scared or not skilled enough to start a Living Rosary group. We might not have had a John Paul II.
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Indeed, the world might be a very different place today if it was not for the magnanimity of this one tailor in Poland! The creature has nothing of its own to offer; "the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sin" Hebrews ; and the offerings, as they rise in value, become, not useless only but, sinful. Such offerings would bring down anger, not mercy. Micah's words then are, for their vividness, an almost proverbial expression of the nothingness of all which we sinners could offer to God.
For there is nothing worthy to be offered to God for sin, and no humility can wash away the stains of offences. In penitence for our sins, we hesitate and say, Wherewith shall I come before the Lord? One and the same spirit revolveth these things in each of us or of those before us, who have been pricked to repentance, 'what worthy offering can I make to the Lord? Neither in ourselves, nor in ought earthtly, can we find anything worthy to be offered to reconcile us with God. For the sin of the soul, blood alone is worthy to be offered; not the blood of calves, or rams, or goats, but our own; yet our own too is not offered, but given back, being due already Psalm The Blood of Christ alone sufficeth to do away all sin.
The developments in the prophets relate to the Person and character of the Redeemer. The law too contained both elements: 1 the ritual of sacrifice, impressing on the Jew the need of an Atoner; 2 the moral law, and the graces inculcated in it, obedience, love of God and man, justice, mercy, humility, and the rest. There was no hint in the law, that half was acceptable to God instead of the whole; that sacrifice of animals would supersede self-sacrifice or obedience.
There was nothing on which the Pharisee could base his heresy. What Micah said, Moses had said. The corrupt of the people offered a half-service, what cost them least, as faith without love always does. Micah, in this, reveals to them nothing new; but tells them that this half-service is contrary to the first principles of their law.
It was an abortion, a monster. For one end of sacrifice was to inculcate the insufficiency of all our good, apart from the Blood of Christ; that, do what we would, "all came short of the glory of God" Romans But to substitute sacrifice, which was a confession that at best we were miserable sinners, unable, of ourselves, to please God, for any efforts to please Him or to avoid displeasing Him, would be a direct contradiction of the law, antinomianism under the dispensation of the law itself.
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Micah changes the words of Moses, in order to adapt them to the crying sins of Israel at that time. He then upbraids them in detail, and that, with those sins which were patent, which, when brought home to them, they could not deny, the sins against their neighbor. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary 8. To have this "good" first "showed," or revealed by the Spirit, is the only basis for the superstructure of the moral requirements which follow. Thus the way was prepared for the Gospel. The banishment of the Jews from Palestine is designed to preclude the possibility of their looking to the Mosaic rites for redemption, and shuts them up to Messiah.
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For the latter being positive ordinances, are only means designed with a view to the former, which being moral duties are the ends, and of everlasting obligation 1Sa ; Ho ; ; Am , Two duties towards man are specified—justice, or strict equity; and mercy, or a kindly abatement of what we might justly demand, and a hearty desire to do good to others.
The three moral duties here are summed up by our Lord Mt , "judgment, mercy, and faith" in Lu , "the love of God". Compare Jas To walk with God implies constant prayer and watchfulness, familiar yet "humble" converse with God Ge ; Matthew Poole's Commentary The prophet answers the inquiry made Micah otherwise than these inquirers did expect: You who make this inquiry might have spared this pains. He, God himself, hath already plainly enough told you this.
Thee, O Jews, every one of you, might from the law of God know what would please your God, and with what you ought to come before him; you might have read, 1 Samuel , that he delighteth in your obeying his word; and more early, Deu 13, What is good in itself for you, and well-pleasing to your God; from his own mouth your holy and righteous fathers did know, and so might you, what is that good with which you should appear before God.
What doth the Lord require of thee? It is a question that must be resolved in a negative, comparative, or absolute; the Lord doth not require sacrifice without moral duties, nor doth he require sacrifice so much as such duties after mentioned. To do justly; to render to every one what is their due, superiors, equals, inferiors, to be equal to all, and oppress none, in body, goods, or name; in all your dealings with men carry a chancery in your own breasts, and do according to equity.
To love mercy; be kind, merciful, and compassionate towards all that need your kindness, do not use severity towards any; though the laws of man did not require you to remit of your pretences, and if you exacted all your right you did not break the laws of men, yet you should have respect to the law of love, and show mercy with delight in showing it, Romans 2 Corinthians Hebrews To walk humbly with thy God; in all duties which immediately refer to the precepts of the first table, in all religious exercise and deportment toward God, keep the heart sincerely humble toward God; think highly of him, his laws and determinations, murmur not against the final determinations God by his providence makes, complain not of any of his precepts; know and own it, thou art an unprofitable servant if thou hast done all, Luke The prophet denies that any external forms will make up for the want of spiritual qualities.
The passage reminds us of Isaiah , Hosea Isaiah He hath shewed thee ] viz. Moses in the Law, especially in Deuteronomy. Micah , Micah , Micah ; Micah Pulpit Commentary Verse 8. He hath showed thee ; literally, one has told thee , or, it has been told thee, i. The prophets often enforce the truth that the principles of righteous conduct are required from men, and not mere formal worship.
This might well be a comfort to the Israelites when they heard that they were doomed to be cast out of their country, and that the temple was to be destroyed, and that the ritual on which they laid such stress would for a time become impracticable. So the inculcation of moral virtues is often connected with the prediction of woe or captivity.
For the prophetic view of the paramount importance of righteousness, see 1 Samuel ; Psalm , etc. To do justly. To act equitably, to hurt nobody by word or deed, which was the exact contrary of the conduct previously mentioned Micah , 2, 8 ; Micah , etc. To love mercy. To be guided in conduct to others by loving kindness. These two rules contain the whole duty to the neighbour. Compare Christ's description of genuine religion Matthew To walk humbly with thy God. This precept comprises man's duty to God, humility and obedience.
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Humility is greatly enforced in the Scriptures see e. Isaiah , etc. Amos That they may taken possession of the remnant of Edom, and all the nations upon which my name shall be called, is the saying of Jehovah, who doeth such things. As the stately palace supplies a figurative representation of the greatness and might of the kingdom, so does the fallen hut, which is full of rents and near to destruction, symbolize the utter ruin of the kingdom.
If the family of David no longer dwells in a palace, but in a miserable fallen hut, its regal sway must have come to an end.