The Skull

St. Mary Magdalene (Jan Boeckhorst) and St. Jerome (boelberner)

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. – John 12:24

Have you ever wondered why there are so many pictures of Saints with skulls?  It seems so morbid, and yet, it is so profound.  Most say it is because the Saints are contemplating their own mortality.   Still others say it is more; that it is representative of dying to oneself and putting on the life of Christ.  Christ who overcame death, that we may have life.  The blood of Christ poured over the bones of Adam to give us new life.

The skull is death.  We must die to our own ego and pick up the life of Christ.  Dying to oneself isn’t easy.  Sometimes it means walking into a tomb.  It can be painful to strip ourselves of pride and attachment.  But as I look at my life, and my sufferings, I wouldn’t change them.  God was revealed in those sufferings.  We can unite our sufferings to Christ.  We can unite ourselves with the Cross, knowing resurrection is on the other side.

More than anything at this moment in time, I feel called to humility.  I scan the headlines and I see evil.  I see Americans demonizing other Americans.  I see hatred and division.  There is no humility.  Pride blinds you to truth.  Humility reveals truth.  We are not gods, and the Holy Trinity is where our praise and thanksgiving belong.  In humility we can see the humanity in others.  In pride, we demonize others.

The example of Humility is the Blessed Mother.  She is humble in all things.  Place yourself under her mantle.  She is the Stella Maris, the Star of the Sea.  She can guide you through stormy waters.

stella maris

My Spiritual Director gave this prayer ;

To love and be rejected;

To spend every effort to help and be turned down;

To be in a situation of having to compete to be heard and be silent;

To have the answers and not be able to convey them;

To lose, knowing you can win, rather than being political;

To go to the end of the line when you were first;

To tell the truth and have it be made a lie;

To try to be saintly and be made out to be a devil; 

To be on the inside and be cast outside;

To be with many and to know you are really alone;

To give yourself unreservedly to others and be a victim of their envy;

To dedicate your life to a purpose and that purpose turn against you;

To be innocent and be accused;

To be stripped of all authority, earthly power, and position and be nothing;

…is to have one’s heart lacerated with humility to the greatest depth and receive at the greatest heights God’s blessing of…walking Jesus’ path; 

…To Love


We will all be humbled when we come face to face with our Lord.  Every breath I take is breathing His grace, because He gave it to me.  Walk the path of humility.  Imagine if humility was widespread.  Then Love would also be.  I leave you with a story of the path of humility by a Syrian Priest.  

About veilofveronica

I am a mother and wife as well as an RCIA and Adult Faith Formation catechist at a parish in the south. I have 3 children and a great husband.
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3 Responses to The Skull

  1. Dearest Susan, I have been idly thinking of an additional quick prayer to pray in preparation for Christmas; something that could be done on the go, in the rush of things. And here it is from God through you: for the humility to see Truth. The Child made Himself visible to the simple shepherds in their lowliness, and to the humble intellectuality of the Wise Men. Christmas is adorned most with the spiritual diamonds of humility.

  2. Susan, kindly delete this comment if you feel the link I’m inserting here is not in keeping with the spirit of your blog.

    You see, I’ve just come across another reference to the prophetic symbolism of the skull in Carlos Rosendi’s blog Like Mother Mary, and so many others, he too points us to the Rosary as the weapon to defeat evil, and yet, many people I know see the Rosary as too humble a weapon; they seek something more. You’ve pointed out so often that pride blinds us to the truth, and it sadly blinds many to the salvific power of these Sacred Beads.

    We must pray for the humility to realize that the Rosary is the sword against the adversary.

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