“Of myself I can’t do it.”
The Saints have many different things to say about attaining holiness, but there is at least one point they all emphasize: the importance of humility. Gabriel Possenti was no exception in this regard, and he understood that it is impossible to make spiritual progress without first realizing who we are and who God is.
Gabriel’s humility showed itself in the quiet little actions of everyday life as a Passionist religious. He would take the last place; he promptly obeyed even seemingly useless orders from his superiors; he sought to serve all with equal reverence; he didn’t say a word about his former popularity in Spoleto. To all outward appearances, he was just another humble Brother preparing for the Passionist priesthood. Within, however, he was growing daily in extraordinary holiness.
Some make the mistake of thinking that humility means denying anything good about oneself. However, this attitude shows a lack of respect for God, who takes delight in all His creations. True humility consists not in “beating ourselves up,” but in truthfully acknowledging our need for God. Gabriel captured the essence of this virtue in a little note he made to himself: “Remember that of myself I can’t do it.”
O good St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin, you were taught by God to love the Passion of Jesus and to remember the Sorrows of Mary His Mother. By her side, you stood by the Cross of Jesus and shared her compassion. Following her, you grew in love for God and all His people. O St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin, we humbly ask you to intercede before God on our behalf, especially for the intentions we now present before you.
For our vocation promotion endeavors
For all the women whom God is calling to join our monastic family
For the spiritual and temporal needs of our novitiate members and the novice directress
For all who pass through this novitiate – this holy training ground – that they will respond generously to God’s graces poured out in their hearts during this time of intense formation
We place our trust in your prayers St. Gabriel and wish to follow your example. Remember us, and especially our youth, with compassion. Support us all our days by your holy prayers. And when this life is done, may we join you in heaven in the company of Jesus and Mary. Amen!