Humility: The Path of True Love
Allow me to remind you that among other evident signs of a lack of humility are:
- Thinking that what you do or say is better than what others do or say;
- Always wanting to get your own way;
- Arguing when you are not right or — when you are — insisting stubbornly or with bad manners;
- Giving your opinion without being asked for it, when charity does not demand you to do so;
- Despising the point of view of others;
- Not being aware that all the gifts and qualities you have are on loan;
- Not acknowledging that you are unworthy of all honour or esteem, even the ground you are treading on or the things you own;
- Mentioning yourself as an example in conversation;
- Speaking badly about yourself, so that they may form a good opinion of you, or contradict you;
- Making excuses when rebuked;
- Hiding some humiliating faults from your director, so that he may not lose the good opinion he has of you;
- Hearing praise with satisfaction, or being glad that others have spoken well of you;
- Being hurt that others are held in greater esteem than you;
- Refusing to carry out menial tasks;
- Seeking or wanting to be singled out;
- Letting drop words of self-praise in conversation, or words that might show your honesty, your wit or skill, your professional prestige…;
- Being ashamed of not having certain possessions…
St. Josemaria Escriva
(Furrow, no. 263)
We are all of us subject to passions, and we all come up against the same sort of difficulties, no matter how old we are. That is why we have to fight. Remember what St Paul wrote: datus est mihi stimulus carnis meae, angelus Satanae, qui me colaphizet, he was given a sting for his flesh, which was like an angel of Satan, to buffet him, otherwise he would have become proud.
It is not possible to lead a clean life without God’s assistance. He wants us to be humble and to ask for his aid. At this very moment, you should trustingly beg Our Lady, as you accompany her in the solitude of your heart, without saying anything out loud: “Mother, this poor heart of mine rebels so foolishly… If you don’t protect me…” And she will help you to keep it pure and to follow the way to which God has called you.
Be humble, very humble, my children. Let us learn to be humble. We need prudence to protect our Love. We must keep a careful watch and not be overcome by fear. Many of the classical spiritual authors compare the devil to a mad dog tied down by a chain. If we don’t go near him, he cannot bite us, no matter how much he barks. If you foster humility in your souls, you will certainly avoid the occasions of sin, and you will react by having the courage to run away from them. You will have daily recourse to the help that comes from Heaven, and will make lively progress along this path of true love.
St. Josemaria Escriva
(Friends of God, no. 180)
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IMAGE: “The Madonna of Humily” (c.1440). Jacopo Bellini. Source – Wikipaintings.