Humility has to be one of the most difficult and most misunderstood words that exists.
What does humility mean? What does it look like?
We are told that humility defeats pride. And I think that we are all quite familiar with pride, some of us, mainly moi, suffers greatly from it!
Humility defeats pride. Great! Now what is humility?
The Catholic Dictionary defines it as:
The moral virtue that keeps a person from reaching beyond himself. It is the virtue that restrains the unruly desire for personal greatness and leads people to an orderly love of themselves based on a true appreciation of their position with respect to God and their neighbors. Religious humility recognizes one’s total dependence on God; moral humility recognizes one’s creaturely equality with others. Yet humility is not only opposed to pride; it is also opposed to immoderate self-abjection, which would fail to recognize God’s gifts and use them according to his will. (Etym. Latin humilitas, abasement, humility, from humus, ground.)
So let’s break this down…
Humility is a virtue…ummm, what is a virtue?
The same Catholic Dictionary defines it as:
A good habit that enables a person to act according to right reason enlightened by faith. Also called an operative good habit, it makes its possessor a good person and his or her actions also good. (Etym. Latin virtus, virility, strength of character, manliness.)
Ok, so a virtue is a good habit. It is a quality that we possess by its practice. And we know it’s good, based on our faith. OK, Got it!
Back to humility, this habit that we can cultivate allows us to see us as we truly are, to value ourselves. We do this through God’s lens, not our own. If we just go by what we see, we may value our gifts, our qualities too little, or too much. What humility allows then is that we acknowledge our talents, our gifts, knowing that God has given them to us, and these don’t make us better or worse than our brothers and sisters in Christ, it makes us equal, for all our gifts are different!
Oh and let’s not forget that the definition also points out that we must recognize our total dependence on God and that we must further use all the gifts given us according to His will.
Pretty straightforward, no?
So we can’t be proud, but we also shouldn’t see ourselves as less, as worthless, we should see ourselves as equal recipients of His Love and Grace.
Any questions? LOL!!! 😉
“That we may know the things that are given us from God.”
1 Corinthians 2:12
No one should esteem less in himself than in others these gifts of God which are to be valued above all things according to the words of St. Paul:
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