HUMILITY: SEEING OUR WEAKNESS AND ALL OF GOD’S STRENGTH When we try to be humble, we feel God’s power acting in us, on the basis of our weakness; and we come to understand that we are never stronger than when we have only God to rely on. We also learn that age and experience alone are not a guarantee that we will get things right; otherwise all old people would be geniuses. It is God who makes us more prudent than our teachers and wiser than the aged. People who are humble realize that their life is in the hands of God: in manibus tuis sortes meae (my fate is in your hands). And when they turn to God in their prayer, they do so without pride, without putting on false airs and graces, since they know that their mistakes and sins are not hidden from God’s sight. Humility prevents us from becoming discouraged at our own faults. Our Father God knows what kind of clay we are made of. Though a vessel of clay may sometimes crack or break, if there is humility it can be put together again with staples which will add to its attractiveness, and which are undoubtedly pleasing to God. My children, human weaknesses give our God a chance to shine forth and to show his almighty power, by excusing and forgiving. Mirifica misericordias tuas, qui salvos facis sperantes in te, Domine. Show forth your infinite mercy, my God, by saving those who hope in you. –St. Josemaria As our sanctity hinges on our work, we need to build up professional expertise and respect, and each of us will acquire, in our own job and social sphere, the dignity and good name we deserve, gained in honest competition with our professional colleagues. Our humility doesn’t entail being timid and shy, or lacking in daring in the field of noble human endeavour. With a supernatural spirit and a desire to serve – with a Christian spirit of service – we must strive to be among the best. Some people without a genuine lay outlook on life understand humility as a lack of confidence, a kind of indecisiveness that stops them from doing things. They think it involves waiving their rights (sometimes even the rights of truth and justice) in order to avoid friction and disagreements, so that they can be nice to everyone. There will always be some who don’t understand our way of practising a deep – and genuine – humility; they may even call it pride. The Christian concept of this virtue has been severely deformed, possibly because the various forms of humility that people have attempted to transfer onto secular society are really more suited to convents than to Christians whose vocation requires them to be at the crossroads of the world (St. Josemaria).
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