1 Peter 5:5b-6 (NRSV)
All of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time.
The classical definition of humility offered by Teresa of Avila is to walk in the truth of who we are. This means accepting our weaknesses and our limitations (as well as our strengths and talents) as gifts of God.
– Susan Muto, Entering the New Testament
Humility, that low sweet root,
From which all heavenly virtues shoot.
Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. Humility is thinking more of others. Humble people are so focused on serving others, they don’t think of themselves.” – Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here for?
Humility is nothing else but a right judgment of ourselves. – William Law
From the original meaning of the word humility (from the word “humus”— earth), it means that our first encounter with God is to come to the realization that God is God, and I am not! I am creature, not Creator. I am of the “earth.” … Humility is the sign that we have moved into a “for” mentality— a life for God. It is what Jesus meant when he spoke of “denying ourselves”—which does not mean a cancellation of the self, but rather a consecration of the self. It’s what E. Stanley Jones meant when he said, “Your self in your own hands is a problem and a pain; your self in God’s hands is a power and a potential.” Humility is allowing God to have you in His hands.
– Steve Harper, A Life of Humility
Humility is the firm foundation upon which our spiritual life is built. Humility is not underestimating our worth or allowing ourselves to be defined by another. … Humility invites us to say “no thank you” to being the center of our own universe. Humility is recognizing that we are God’s creation and allowing ourselves to be grounded in that truth.- Kathleen R. Flood
The failure to follow the saints of the ages in this confessional spirit results in the loss of humility. And hard as it is to accept, this is nothing other than the triumph of egotism. The thing the ego resists most is beginning with “I.” Adam and Eve resisted it in Eden, so they blamed the snake and each other. Peter resisted it in Jesus’ conversation with him on the seashore, changing the subject to another disciple by asking, “What about him?” The ego creates a circus of “you’s” and then spends an inordinate amount of time, effort, and money demonstrating how “I” am superior to “you.” But the old Gospel hymn calls out all attempts to pass the buck: “It’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer. Not my brother, not my sister, but me O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”
– Consider reading Steve Harper’s entire reflection on humility and debating controversial issues, For the Bride: Missing Square One
There is no love of God without patience, and no patience without lowliness and sweetness of spirit. Humility and patience are the surest proof of the increase of love. Humility alone unites patience with love; without which it is impossible to draw profit from suffering, or indeed, to avoid complaint, especially when we think we have no occasion for what people make us suffer. – John Wesley, selection from his journal
Truly holy people are always humble. If you are not humble, you have not experienced the Holy One. If you don’t see humility and patience in religion, you know it’s not on the right course. – Richard Rohr
Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.
– Thomas Merton
Matthew 23:11-12 (NRSV)
Jesus said, “The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.”
If we want to cook up some humility, we need to mix three basic ingredients: We need to be ourselves, to serve others, and to let God be God. Then we add daily measures of prayer, honest sharing, and a deep surrender to God’s Spirit. Allow to simmer for as long as necessary. Do not keep lifting the lid to examine what is happening. One day we will find ourselves surprised by the aroma of God’s grace and power at work in our lives! -Trevor Hudson, One Day at a Time
A ship cannot be built without nails,
so a person cannot be saved without humility.
Humility is attentive patience. – Simone Weil
Do you wish to rise?
Begin by descending.
Do you plan a tower that will pierce the clouds?
First lay the foundation on humility. – St. Augustine
Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist, there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.
Click here for Michelle Fayant’s comments on her powerful piece, Humility
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