HE MUST INCREASE; I MUST DECREASE. (Jn 3:30)
In the true Marian soul, there is no room for jealousy, petty or otherwise. The flame of charity consumes the feeling of resentment which at times comes even to the most un-selfish and purest of hearts upon seeing himself displaced by another or outpaced in virtue or set aside in favour of the young.
The contemplation of one’s own eclipse is a bitter thing: but if one feels a secret pang when another is preferred to him, he takes warning that his charity is yet imperfect. He must aim higher. The bitterness, the smouldering jealousy and the latent hate revealed by a feeling of resentment, be it ever so slight, must be transformed wholly into Christ-like love, by which he sees his Master in each of his brethren.
When they advance, even at his own expense, he is content to say with St John the Baptist: “He must increase; I must decrease.” In this way, Mary is given scope to free the souls of Her soldiers from every taint of vanity, transforming them into selfless envoys who go forth to prepare the way before the Lord. When those around him grow in virtue, he never measures their growth against his own for he knows that the spirit of envy cannot co-exist with true apostleship.
– Excerpts from “Holiness Through Mary” by Fr Francis Ripley, copied from a pamphlet by the Universal Rosary Association. For the Association’s details, please visit the link above (Part I).