Michael Casey, a monk of Tarrawarra Abbey in Australia, wrote a book called “Living in the Truth.” In this book he says, “Humility is a beautiful quality to find in a person. It is a characteristic feature of those who have not forgotten their roots.” By this, Casey is pointing out that humility is a down-to-earth, realistic trait in a person who realizes who they are and how they were created to be.
Living out humility is not easy. Although created in the likeness and image of God, we humans are tainted by Original Sin and therefore struggle to follow the example of Jesus who was “gentle and humble of heart” (Matthew 11:29). It seems to me that the first step to living humility and being a truly humble person is to ask God for that grace. On our own we can do nothing but with God we can bear much fruit (John 15:5)…maybe even humility!
Humility, according to Casey, “brings with it a fundamental happiness that is able to cope with external difficulties and sorrows.” So, it seems striving to be a humble person is well worth it. Being humble helps us to accept our strengths and limitations without defenses and judgments and helps us deal with the ups and downs of life. In humility we find our worth not in what we do but who we are as children of God. And, in turn, humility helps us accept and value others for who they are. St. Paul tells us “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, show tolerance for one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2).
I admit that I struggle with humility, true humility. Each and every day I fight the temptation to put myself first, to think lofty of myself, to judge others, and to go it on my own, forgetting my utter dependence on God. I want to live the humility that Casey describes as “that network of attitudes that spring from a radical conversion of heart, and signals a deep, inner conformity with Christ.”
Come, O Jesus, make my heart more like Thine!
Casey, Michael. Living in the Truth. Ligouri Publications, 2001.