Lately I have been reading a lot on humility, because it is a virtue I really need to grow in. I read this from In Conversation with God and it encouraged me in my quest for growth, Truth and beauty. Because after all that is what virtue is – beauty.
First here is a little story on humility from a saint. One day, it is said, Saint Thomas Aquinas was pulled up for a supposed grammatical error while reading. He corrected it as indicated. Later, his companions asked him why he had made the correction since he himself must have known that the original text was faultless. Before God, the saint replied, better a fault of grammar than a fault of obedience and of humility.
If we want to serve the Lord, we must desire and ask for the virtue of humility with insistence. To truly desire this virtue, we should keep in mind that the opposite of humility – the capital sin of pride – is the greatest obstacle to the vocation we have received from the Lord. Living in the virtue humility is not only a matter of rejecting the motions of pride, selfishness and vanity. In fact, Jesus and Mary, who possessed the virtue of humility to the full, never experienced any inclination toward pride.
The word ‘humility’ derives from the Latin word humus (soil or earth). Etymologically, ‘humble’ signifies inclined towards the earth; the virtue of humility consists in bowing down before God and everything that is of God in creatures. In practical terms, it leads us to recognize our inferiority, our littleness and indigence before God. We learn to be humble by meditating on the Passion of our Lord, by considering His greatness in the face of so many humiliations, allowing Himself as He did to be led like a sheep to its shearers.
He who struggles to be humble does not seek out praise, and if praise comes, he tries to refer them instead to the glory of God, the author of all good things. Humility does not consist so much in despising oneself as in forgetting oneself, joyfully recognizing that we possess nothing that we have not received. It leads us to become God’s little children, who find all their strength in the strong hand of the Father.
Everything the sun touches is bathed in light. Lord, fill me with your clarity, bathe me in your divinity so that I may identify my will with Your adorable Will and become the instrument You wish me to be. Give me the madness to undergo the humiliation you underwent, which led you to be born poor, to work in obscurity, to endure the shame of dying sewn by nails to a piece of wood, to your self-effacement in the Blessed Sacrament. May I know myself: may I know myself and know You. I will then never lose sight of my nothingness. – In Conversation with God
Beautiful. Now I just need to pray for the grace to live it.