Some Comments on Humility

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Here's a "more positive" version of St. JoseMaria Escriva's 17 evidences of a lack of humility. Brought to you courtesy of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Blog.

Finally, to hear from one of our contemporary Saints, Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Although immersed in an active mission, she indeed is a contemplative. Time for prayer and meditation is an absolute requirement for her and her sisters before they take on the duties of caring for others. In a book called The Love of Christ," she is quoted as saying to her religious the following: "These are a few of the ways we can practice humility" (which is the essence of meekness):

- Speak as little as possible of oneself.
- Mind one's own business.
- Avoid curiosity.
- Do not want to manage other people's affairs.
- Accept contradiction and correction cheerfully.
- Pass over the mistakes of others.
- Accept blame when innocent.
- Yield to the will of others.
- Accept insults and injuries.
- Accept being slighted, forgotten, and disliked.
- Be kind and gentle even under provocation.
- Do not seek to be specially loved and admired.
- Never stand on one's dignity.
- Yield in discussion even though one if right.
- Choose always the hardest.

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What does curiosity have to do with lack of humility? I'm not challenging, but actually... I guess curious is the wrong word.

I am a terribly, terribly curious person, the kind who can waste a lot of time Googling to see whatever happened to people I knew in second grade. It's just the connection to lack of humility (would that be pride?) which I have trouble seeing. I can see it when it comes to curiosity about ideas or current events, perhaps -- thinking that it's important that you personally become "learned" about many things or that you be able to form an opinion instead of just doing your work. Thinking that you must read all about the latest priestly-affair scandal in order to put in your two cents in a comment box, or something. Though I usually see the possibility of being entertained by the scandal itself as a greater problem.

Oh, I'm in big trouble too. "Speak as little as possible of oneself." I make it a point to say "here's what I've seen (or experienced)"
a lot because I'm always trying to figure things out, but I am not learned in theology and philosophy, at all, and am in no position to make formal pronouncements. I just can't. But I need to talk about what's going on in my mind and heart all the time, hear back from others what they have to say about themselves, and then mull that over . . . oh, well.

Dear Anonymous (asking about Curiousity):

I don't think she means to preclude legitimate interest in what is in the world around us, rather I think the prohibition against curiousity would be more akin to a prohibition against nosiness--undue curiousity about things which are really not your affair. Most of us are curious--I daresay the Good Mother herself had a lively curiousity, but it is also one of those dispositions that it is very easy to direct incorrectly. I don't know for certain that this is what it means, but that's what I read when I looked at the list.



Dear Marion,

I'm in the same boat. But it is ever pointed out to me as a bad thing, and I have to admit that the less I think of myself, even in trying to reason things out, the better off I am. This one is very much like one on all of the major lists. Yes, it's a toughie.



Steven, thank you for your kind answer.

Well, as for us being in the same boat, let us keep working on it, right?

Keeping you in my prayers . . .

Dear Marion,

Thank you, that is a most excellent idea and much appreciated. I will add your name and intentions in a much more specific way to my daily prayers--although I have always prayed for you and for all who visit Flos Carmeli, indeed for the entire community of St. Blogs. But thank you very much.





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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 2, 2005 3:02 PM.

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