I realize that I have not posted in quite some time. The reason for this is partly due to a busy schedule and partly out of laziness. I confess that I have grown lax in my posting. I will endeavor to post more frequently in the future.
With that said, I would like to touch on a subject which I find quite compelling. Humility, I believe, and many more scholarly individuals than Ialso believe, is quite probably the single most important attribute to aid us in our struggle toward holiness. Sacred scripture is replete with entreaties to be always humble. The beatitudes tell us that the meek shall inherit the earth. Jesus Himself tell us that He is "meek and humble of heart". Humility is the acknowledgement of truth. We must always remember that God is pure truth, so to be humble is to acknowledge God. To go one step further, humility teaches us to view ourselves as God views us. To know our place as it were, to be aware of our place in the order of creation and in relation to God, the uncreated Creator.
One cannot be "in the truth" if one is still laboring under a false sense of importance or an exaggerated love of oneself. The reverse is also applicable, someone with a very low self esteem is also not "in the truth". Humility, contrary to what many in the world might think, is not a degrading low opinion of oneself. It is a balanced and truthful opinion, based on our knowledge of the dignity of the human person and on God's unfathomable love for His creation. Humility is where being "in the truth" must begin. If we do not have an honest conception of where we stand, then how can we know where we are headed?
Jesus Christ took human form and it was a humble form at that. He chose to show us by his earthly life, the importance of humility. It has been said "God's ways are not our ways". The way of earthly rulers is to lord over their subjects, to treat them as a commodity, to subjugate and occupy them, to be served by them and to keep them down and submissive. Christ came to serve; to empty Himself of everything and finally to die a painful death for us, His subjects, His creatures. All His preaching and indeed His entire life gave poignant testimony to this fact. Humility is a godly thing. By this I mean that just as Christ elevated human suffering through His passion, He also elevated humility in his emptying of Himself. His poverty and His utter trust in The Father, His obedience to The Father, this serves as a powerful example of what Christianity is, humility.
I cannot speak of humility without devoting some of this topic to Our Lady. She is the prime example of perfect human humility. Her acceptance of God's will is a crystal clear lesson in sincere humility. As a channel of Grace she is humility itself. In her "Magnificat" Mary tells us of Our Father's attitude toward those who approach Him. Mary tells us that the poor he has filled with good things and the rich and proud he has sent away empty. Maryi s the closest to God because of her humility. She is the "humble handmaid of The Lord". Just as Christ's life was a lesson, so too was Mary's earthly life. To go even further, Mary has revealed in numerous apparitions from Fatima to Maedjugorje the importance of humility. Many of us struggle with humility. It seems to go against our nature. It would seem an impossible endeavor to strive to be as humble as Jesus or Mary, we would find it hard enough to be as humble as any of the saints. Truly it would be impossible on our own. That is where prayer becomes so important. Through prayer, we can petition God to send The Holy Spirit to teach us humility. With God all things are possible. We have seen that humility is the key to holiness, now we know that prayer is the means to become humble. I think it only fair to warn anyone serious about gaining humility, that if you pray for it, you will be humbled. Being humbled is not a pleasant thing most of the time. But, as it is in most things, that which is hard and unpleasant, is usually what we need. "No pain no gain" as the old axiom goes. Jesus tells us in the Gospel that whatever we ask for in His name, The Father will give us. Whatever will lead us to Him, that is. If we ask for humility, we are guaranteed we will receive it.