Skip to comments.The Significance of Humility in the Christian Life
Posted on 12/09/2011 7:55:28 PM PST by rzman21
"And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted" (Matt. 23:12) Humility is a door, among many others in the great labyrinth, which leads us to our divinization, so that we may become little Christs. Without overcoming ourselves, accepting our faults, submitting everything to the Lord such a door could not be opened, therefore becoming a tiring obstacle in our wake. Our world, our America is a culture of egotism and the importance of self. It is a temptation that wants us to feel on top of the world, infallible and glorifiable - even though our sinful nature speaks the contrary. Our minds become distorted and our eyes misty, clouding the way to the path of Christ. I have seen too often people seek self-satisfaction in whatever they think and do or lie to maintain their pompous egotism. Such worldliness deprives us of what is the most important; such love for our earthly bodies and persona stray us away from the Good Lord.
Consulting the wisdom of Staretz* (Qashisho) Silouan of Mt Athos, we find he speaks on humility.
"Understand me. It is so simple. People who do not know God, or who go against Him, are to be pitied: the heart sorrows for them and the eye weeps....where there is pride there cannot be grace, and if we lose grace we also lose both love of God and assurance in prayer. The soul is then tormented by evil thoughts and does not understand that he must humble himself and love his enemies, for there is no other way to please God." (Material from Wisdom From Mount Athos: The Writings of Staretz Silouan 1866-1838, by Archimandrite Sophrony) ** Let us dwell on this wisdom, step by step: People who do not know God, or who go against Him, are to be pitied: the heart sorrows for them and the eye weeps where there is pride there cannot be grace Wherefore do we get off telling ourselves that we are TRULY good? No one is good, except God alone, said the Divine Lord. Pride is the toxin of the soul. The holy Fathers advise us to keep the heart pure from all impulses, feelings and fantasies of self, whatever they may be. But what do we do? We always fall back into the temptation of self-confidence. This self-confidence is a hazardous aspect in our earthly life. What we need to do is recognize that we are weak, wholly incapable of resisting the lure of the dominion of Satan. The less we rely on our delusional self-strength, and take on the reliance upon our Lord, the more we are able to stand.
and if we lose grace we also lose both love of God and assurance in prayer. To lose such is a tragedy for a soul. We need complete reliance upon the Lord, for if we make the Lord, and not our own egotism, our protection, we will be ensured that the devil himself will not succeed in his temptation:
I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust. 3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a] And from the perilous pestilence. 4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. (Psalm 91) Even if we fall on this journey, which is quite possible given our nature, one must not be rueful over that fact we failed; that surely demonstrates one is pining over the fact that they failed to meet their own selves. That would then prove to us that only our self-reliance has been hurt. So that we may NOT lose the love He has bestowed upon His Church, the focus of work should be that we are sinners and that we need to put all our trust in God. He who does what the Lord has advised us to do, thanks God for rescuing him from sinking any lower into the self-cult of arrogance.
The soul is then tormented by evil thoughts and does not understand that he must humble himself and love his enemies, for there is no other way to please God. What other way can we please God than by following the character of His Son?
7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:7-8)
The Eternal and Divine Son of God took the form of Man, subscribing Himself to a most humble form. He endured extreme humility for the sake of the world, by suffering, being mocked, and dying for the sins of mankind. What can we, Creation, do to live out our New Hope in the Ressurection? Pray God to forgive us and not again to allow us to be reckless, unwary, disobedient, and independent. Pray for grace and mercy and love that He who is All-Compassionate may help us abstain from falling back on our darker half.
I implore all who read this to not be tempted into taking what may seem the easy road, which encompasses accepting the temptation of Satan and the glorification of self. Pride, arrogance, haughtiness, and self-importance are all gems of the conceited man, which solicit what may seem an easy, comfortable life. Yet, what more is richer than glorifying others and the Lord? What more is satisfying than denying ourselves and taking up our cross? It sure beats what the other choice offers and the end result therein.
As the Nativity of Our Most Blessed Yoldath-Aloho (Theotokos) comes into view, let us pray that we may not follow the way of Adam, when he placed the blame upon Eve and the devil. Let us all accept the faults of ourselves and the mistakes that we have made and continue to make, so that each of us may never repeat the situation of Adam for who wants to be outside the gates of Paradise?
Thank goodness I’m the most humble person in the universe.
Thank you. I'm humbled.
Humility is a form of Truth.
Pride was the sin of Adam.
Teaching the Virtues (includes The Lessons of 9/11)
WHAT ARE THE MARYLIKE STANDARDS? (Modesty)
Morality of the Passions [Ecumenical]
Sources of Morality [Ecumenical]
When attending Mass becomes an occasion of sin [Lack of modesty]
Vatican Cardinal Burke: In todays society morality has ceased to exist
Heaven and the love of neighbour [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Virtue of Prudence [Michael Voris video]
Back-to-School Virtues: Three qualities that help your child succeed in class and in life
How to Make All Our Conversations Virtuous [Ecumenical]
Advent -- A Season of Hope
Modesty En Vogue [Another one of the virtues]"
Prudence: Mother of All Virtues
The Virtue of Confidence
Is Courage a Masculine Virtue?
Cardinal Virtues: Obama and the Real American Infrastructure Part One
Cardinal Virtues: Obama and the Real American Infrastructure Part Two
Morality is Habit-Forming: The Cardinal Virtues
The Cross Exemplifies Every Virtue [St. Thomas Aquinas]
Living the Virtue of Humility
Yeah, but I'm about a thousand times more humble than you. (Really the figure is closer to 1500 but I'm being conservative AND humble).
I am humbled at the thought of your humility.
Jokes aside, good article.
A Rabbi, a Hindu, and a lawyer are in a car. They run out of gas and are forced to stop at a farmer’s house. The farmer says that there are only two extra beds, so one person will have to sleep in the barn.
The Hindu says,’ ‘I’m humble, I will sleep in the barn.’’ So, he goes out to the barn. In a few minutes, the farmer hears a knock on the door. It’s the Hindu and he says,’ ‘There is a cow in the barn. It’s against my beliefs to sleep with a cow.’’
So, the Rabbi says,’ ‘I’m humble, I’ll sleep in the barn.’’ A few minutes later, the farmer hears another knock on the door and it’s the Rabbi. He says that it is against his beliefs to sleep where there is a pig and there is a pig in the barn.
So, the lawyer is forced to sleep in the barn. A few minutes later, there is a knock on the door. It’s the pig and the cow...
yes. It is a good article. Thanks for posting.
We will never be a Christ, little or otherwise. There is only one Christ and that is Jesus The LORD. The idea that we become a Christ is a false doctrine. We must strive to be Christ like but we will never, never be a Christ.
Satan told Eve that she would become as God and he is still telling the same lie today. Thinking that we shall be as God is pride. The first thing one must do to be humble is realize the unfathomable vast difference there is between us and All Mighty God in every way. We are merely the created. He is the Creator. Our words, nor our thoughts can begin to comprehend His perfection or His power.
i have to smile. i’m reminded of the founder of string theory who said that his theory will eventually prove out to be correct because (paraphrasing) it was so obvious to him from the beginning that it had to be right.
So I take it that you prefer pride and arrogance.
Accepting our faults??? We abhor our faults, sins. We repent in sackcloth and ashes. Our "faults" are the reason Jesus who is/was without fault died the horrific death on the cross for us, paying the price for our sins with His own precious and perfect life. Yes, we do admit our faults and trust that, as The Bible says, Jesus died to take our sins away. We certainly do not accept them.
Oh, don’t say that. Errors can be made with very good intentions.
And certainly if Athanasius says, “He became man so that we might become gods,” (which I believe), we have some ‘splainin’ to do about how that is NOT just anew version of what the snake said.
Personally, I believe that humility is part of the economy of the Trinity. The Son is perfectly humble to the Father, and our Lord uses the wonderful image of the unselfconsciously humble son who does what he sees his father doing, to describe his place in the Trinity.
In Christ, vivified by his spirit, the liberating grace of humility becomes a possibility for us. May it come soon. May HE come soon.
No, I accept my place under Jesus, who is the one and only Christ. Only He, The Perfect Lamb of God, is worthy to be called Christ. Non of us shall ever be a Christ except Him.
There are whole schools of false doctrine out there whose adherents believe not that they are under Christ but rather that they themselves have become as Christ, a Christ in their own right. They believe that power then issues from them as a god. They believe that they themselves are the source of this power rather than believing and understanding that there is only one power and that is God Almighty.
This is a very, very aberrant belief system out of the pit of hell. You would be surprised if you knew how many people are deluded into believing that they shall become a god but in their minds the god that they shall become or think that they are has a capital g.
I have been the whipping boy more than once in various trials and have paid dearly for things I didn’t do and been humiliated and repudiated in situations where all I could do about it was grin and bear it. Was I “crucified”? Not literally, but figuratively, yes. So, it was a lot more humiliating than I was comfortable with and yes, I complained to God that I wasn’t a god and didn’t want to pay the price for someone else’s sin. But I had to anyway.