What is the virtue of humility? What is this choice, lovely virtue? Oh, the demon knows, and how ambitious he is to destroy it! He instills into the minds of even those who should know, the most unfair thoughts about this virtue. He would make it the quality of weak and craven souls. He would make it a quality of the despised, but humility is a virtue of courage. It takes courage to be humble. It is a virtue of truth and justice. Humility is a great virtue because it safeguards so many other virtues.
Now all that humility is, is simply the truth. It is recognizing our real relation with God. Humility does not consist in denying what we are or denying what we have, but attributing what we are and have to Him Who gave it. Humility reminds us, impresses upon us, causes us to realize that what we have, we have from God: that is, everything that is lovable, attractive, beautiful, useful, desirable-we have that from God. It is not ours and humility tells us that it is foolish to take complacency in that which is not ours. We have nothing of ourselves except our dirty, nasty, filthy inclinations; those God did not give us, but everything else belongs to Him. Life, grace of manners, health, talent, strength, success-not one of these things are ours.
St. Paul says: "What hast thou that thou hast not received? And if thou has received, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” (l Cor.4:7) Now, that is the searching question. Why are you self-complacent or why are you disdainful of others less favored than yourself. Why do you introduce a distinction between yourself and your unfortunate brother? God has no respect of persons. What you have is not yours by any title of your own. Now that is the only work of humility-to teach us that one lesson thoroughly.
Though you may be secure in the grace of the Holy Spirit today, all that is between you and the fallen angel is the grace of God. Only for God you would be what he is. Only for God you would be nothing. We have that solicitude of God's love for us. That is all it is. You know, when we think of these things it is not difficult to say, "Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof; but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” (Roman Missal) Listening to humility's voice we say, "O God, be merciful to me a sinner.” (Lk. 18:13)
Oh, you see, this virtue fills us with compassion, with pity, with charity for all and we fear for ourselves, and we come down quickly from the mountain of our own conceit.(l) Do pray always that we will be more humble-less in confidence of ourselves and stronger in confidence of God's goodness and mercy.(2)
It is easy to concentrate on the me I hate and ignore the me God created. How busy is the mind on "doing" so that I might present my credentials to God! It only matters what I am through and through. Why do I persist in doing when He calls me to be? If I yield to the "be" then all else will be accomplished. Please, Lord, give me the grace to trust You and not my busy work and paper virtues. I delight in being nothing but Your child and subject to Your Holy Will and desires. This is the only true happiness and might I say safe position in this treacherous world. Without Your Grace Jesus I am incapable of opening my arms on the cross you have prepared for me. Please help me to do this for your people.