d) Being humble

Humility and Service (Jesus Washing Feet)Humility: Top Quotes

  1. “What does ‘the path of humility, of humiliation’ mean? Simply put it means saying: ‘I am a man, I am a woman, and you are God!’ And going forward in God’s presence, as a man, as a woman, in obedience and docility of heart.” (Pope Francis)
  2. “You won’t become humble unless you look at the one who became humble for your sake. Learn from Christ what you won’t learn from man; in him is to be found the standard of humility.” (St Augustine of Hippo)
  3. “If a thought, if a desire takes you along the road of humility and abasement, of service to others, is from Jesus, but if it brings you to the road of sufficiency, of vanity, of pride, along the path of an abstract thought, it is not from Jesus.” (Pope Francis)
  4. “God’s favour brings humility
    and always brings greater light
    that we may understand
    the little that we are.” (St Teresa of Avila)
  5. “I have seen through experience
    the great good that comes to a soul
    when it does not turn aside from obedience.
    It is through this practice
    that I think one advances in virtue
    and gains humility.” (St Teresa of Avila)
  6. “The grandeur of the mystery of God is known only in the mystery of Jesus, and the mystery of Jesus is really a mystery of lowering oneself, abasing oneself, humiliating oneself, and bringing salvation to the poor, to those who are destroyed” by sickness, sins and difficult situations. Outside of this framework, we cannot understand the mystery of Jesus.” (Pope Francis)
  7. “The first step towards humility is to realise that one is proud.” (CS Lewis)
  8. “Fantastic dreams in which my pride may indulge, thoughts of honors, positions, etc., … upset one’s peace of mind, sap one’s energy, and take all real joy and all value and merit from anything good one may do.” (Pope John XXIII, while a young priest)
  9. “Pride is to be feared even when we do right actions, lest those things which are done in a praiseworthy manner be spoiled by the desire for praise itself.” (St Augustine of Hippo)
  10. “It must always be borne in mind that Christ’s victory only occurred after the ‘defeat’ and humiliation of the Cross.
    … If we are in communion with Christ we are assured of overcoming all obstacles.” (Pope Benedict XVI)
  11. “… so, if you were to ask me, however often you might repeat the question, what are the instructions of the Christian religion, I would be disposed to answer always and only, ‘Humility.'” (St Augustine of Hippo)

Humility: Full Quotes and Sources of Quotes

“In conclusion, Pope Francis asked: what does “the path of humility, of humiliation” mean? Simply put, he said, it means saying: “I am a man, I am a woman, and you are God! And going forward in God’s presence, as a man, as a woman, in obedience and docility of heart”.”

— Pope Francis, 25th March 2014, in one of his daily morning Masses as reported by L’Osservatore Romano, Weekly ed. in English, n. 13, 28 March 2014 and published on the Vatican website

“You won’t become humble unless you look at the one who became humble for your sake. Learn from Christ what you won’t learn from man; in him is to be found the standard of humility (norma humilitatis). Those who measure up to him are first formed in humility, in order to be eventually honored with high nobility.”

— St Augustine, as quoted in a great paper by Deborah Wallace Ruddy (“Christian Humility and Democratic Citizenry: St. Augustine and Jacques Maritain”), which is available as a PDF online in various places such as here (note: the footnote refers to: “Augustine, Sermon 126.11: “Disce a Christo, quod non discis ab bomine: in illo est norma humilitatis; ad hunc qui accedit, prius in ipsa IJttmilitate formatur, ut in exaltatione decoretur”; see Sermon 68.11, vol. 3, p. 230)

“That is the path of Jesus Christ: abasement, humility, humiliation as well. If a thought, if a desire takes you along the road of humility and abasement, of service to others, is from Jesus. We need to test things – this is from the Lord, and this is not – in order to remain in the Lord. Every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come-in-the-flesh belongs to God, and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus does not belong to God; this is the spirit of the antichrist.

Jesus, being God, He emptied Himself, He humbled Himself even to death on the Cross. If a thought, if a desire takes you along the road of humility and abasement, of service to others, is from Jesus, but if it brings you to the road of sufficiency, of vanity, of pride, along the path of an abstract thought, it is not from Jesus.

Understand what’s happening in one’s own heart — do not trust every spirit, but test the spirits.” (Observing that there are some spirits which help us to “remain in the Lord” and others that “take us away from Him,” the Pope urged those in attendance to) “test the spirits to see if they really come from God, because many false prophets have come into the world. This is why vigilance is necessary. The Christian is a man or a woman who knows to keep watch over his or her heart. We need to test things — this is from the Lord, and this is not — in order to remain in the Lord. Every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh belongs to God, and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus does not belong to God; this is the spirit of the antichrist.”

— Pope Francis, 7th January 2014, in one of his daily morning Masses as reported by the Catholic News Agency

“God’s favour brings humility
and always brings greater light
that we may understand
the little that we are.”

— St Teresa of Avila, in her ‘The Way of Perfection’ as quoted on page 89 of “A Little Book of Teresa of Avila”, the Columba Press, Blackrock, County Dublin, 2003, compiled by Don Mullan

I think it is a greater favour
if the Lord sends us a single day
of humble self-knowledge…
than many days of prayer….

It would be a bad business
if we could practice prayer
only by getting alone in corners.

— St Teresa of Avila, in her ‘The Book of Foundations’ as quoted on page 78 of “A Little Book of Teresa of Avila”, the Columba Press, Blackrock, County Dublin, 2003, compiled by Don Mullan

“I have seen through experience
the great good that comes to a soul
when it does not turn aside from obedience.
It is through this practice
that I think one advances in virtue
and gains humility.”

— St Teresa of Avila, in her ‘The Book of Foundations’ as quoted on page 70 of “A Little Book of Teresa of Avila”, the Columba Press, Blackrock, County Dublin, 2003, compiled by Don Mullan

“O humility
what great blessings you bestow
where you are present
and on those who approach the one
who possesses you.”

— St Teresa of Avila, in her ‘The Book of Foundations’ as quoted on page 63 of “A Little Book of Teresa of Avila”, the Columba Press, Blackrock, County Dublin, 2003, compiled by Don Mullan

The Pope then asked, who does Jesus reveal the Father to? “To whom does He give this grace?” Jesus himself gives the answer, as read in the Gospel of Luke: “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes”.

For this reason, “only those with the heart of babes are capable of receiving this revelation.” Only those with a “humble, meek heart, which feels the need to pray, to open up to God, to feel poor” have this capacity. In a word, “only those who go forth with the first beatitude: the poor in spirit.”

…. According to Francis, it is obvious that “the grandeur of the mystery of God is known only in the mystery of Jesus, and the mystery of Jesus is really a mystery of lowering oneself, abasing oneself, humiliating oneself, and bringing salvation to the poor, to those who are destroyed” by sickness, sins and difficult situations.

“Outside of this framework, we cannot understand the mystery of Jesus”, the Pope emphasized. “We can’t understand this anointing of the Holy Spirit which makes us rejoice, as we heard in the Gospel, praising the Father, and which leads to bring the Good News to the poor and the marginalized”.

From this perspective, in the season of Advent, Francis encouraged us to pray and ask the Lord to lead us ever closer “to his mystery, and to do so on the path that He wants us to take: the path of humility, the path of meekness, the path of poverty, the path of feeling ourselves sinners”. For this is how, the Pope concluded, “He comes to save us, to free us”.

— Pope Francis, 2nd December 2014, in one of his daily morning Masses as reported by L’Osservatore Romano, Weekly ed. in English, n. 49, 5 December 2014 and published on the Vatican website under the title “Only the humble understand” (News report here.)

“You may remember I said that the first step towards humility was to realise that one is proud. I want to add now that the next step is to make some serious attempt to practice the Christian virtues. A week is not enough. Things often go swimmingly for the first week. Try six weeks. By that time, having, as far as one can see, fallen back completely or even fallen lower than the point one began from, one will have discovered some truths about oneself. No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.”

— CS Lewis, in his book ‘Mere Christianity’ (in the chapter ‘Faith’ (page 118 of the 1997 edition, Fount Paperbacks, London)(Note: Here is a link to the Vatican page on the Christian virtues)

“(7) As for fantastic dreams in which my pride may indulge, thoughts of honors, positions, etc., I will be very careful not to entertain them, but will spurn them at once. They upset one’s peace of mind, sap one’s energy, and take all real joy and all value and merit from anything good one may do. For myself, I must think only of remaining very humble, very, very, humble, leaving everything else to God.”

— Pope John XXIII, “Good Pope John”, reflections while on a retreat 27 September3 October 1914, as published in his autobiography “Journal of a Soul“, revised edition 1980, published by Geoffrey Chapman, page 201.

“It must always be borne in mind that Christ’s victory only occurred after the ‘defeat’ and humiliation of the Cross.
The Church should never forget the Cross. Nor should it forget that if we are in communion with Christ we are assured of overcoming all obstacles.”

— Pope Benedict XVI, as Cardinal Ratzinger, in an interesting interview with David Quinn for the ‘Irish Business Post’ published first on 17th December 1995 and since published in ‘The Irish Catholic’ (Feb 28, 2013) and online

“To Him, my Dioscorus, I desire you to submit yourself with unreserved piety, and I wish you to prepare for yourself no other way of seizing and holding the truth than that which has been prepared by Him who, as God, saw the weakness of our goings. In that way the first part is humility; the second, humility; the third, humility: and this I would continue to repeat as often as you might ask direction, not that there are no other instructions which may be given, but because, unless humility precede, accompany, and follow every good action which we perform, being at once the object which we keep before our eyes, the support to which we cling, and the monitor by which we are restrained, pride wrests wholly from our hand any good work on which we are congratulating ourselves.

All other vices are to be apprehended when we are doing wrong; but pride is to be feared even when we do right actions, lest those things which are done in a praiseworthy manner be spoiled by the desire for praise itself. Wherefore, as that most illustrious orator, on being asked what seemed to him the first thing to be observed in the art of eloquence, is said to have replied, Delivery; and when he was asked what was the second thing, replied again, Delivery; and when asked what was the third thing, still gave no other reply than this, Delivery; so if you were to ask me, however often you might repeat the question, what are the instructions of the Christian religion, I would be disposed to answer always and only, “Humility,” although, perchance, necessity might constrain me to speak also of other things.”

— St Augustine, in the end of Chapter 3 of his ‘famous’ letter to Dioscorus (apparently referred to as Letter 118 and in AD 410), as published on newadvent.org

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