This is the eighth of a 12-part, once-a-month series on the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. This month’s fruit is HUMILITY. Be sure to see previous posts beginning with CHARITY and check back next month as another contributor explores the fruit of FIDELITY.
It is rare in this world for humility to be sought after and praised. Our world, particularly our Western society, looks more highly on pride and accomplishments. Selfishness is more common than selflessness. And yet, as Christians, we must live a life of humility otherwise the gate of Heaven will be closed to us.
“The gate of Heaven is very low; only the humble can enter it.” –St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
What is true humility?
Humility is physically kneeling in prayer.
Humility is thinking of others before thinking of yourself.
“Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but [also] everyone for those of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)
Humility is gentleness and meekness.
Humility is being poor in spirit.
“Gentleness is followed by peace and tranquility, and animates the soul to love God.” –St. Gerard Majella
Humility means not desiring recognition for your good deeds.
Humility is desiring to be overlooked in favor of others.
“For by the grace given to me I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than one ought to think, but to think soberly, each according to the measure of faith that God apportioned.” (Romans 12:3)
Humility is not looking for approval, praise, or honor in the things we do.
Humility means being okay with being forgotten.
“If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.” –Bl. Teresa of Calcutta
Humility is living with only what you need and not what you want.
Humility means admitting your mistakes and seeking forgiveness from God.
“It constantly happens that the Lord permits a soul to fall so that it may grow humbler. When it is honest, and realizes what it has done, and returns, it makes ever-increasing progress in our Lord’s service.” –St. Theresa of Avila.
Humility is wanting more for others and less for yourself.
Humility is doing things without complaint, especially when it was someone else’s task and not your own.
“What will be the crown of those who, humble within and humiliated without, have experienced the humility of our Savior in all its fullness.” –St. Bernadette Soubirous
Humility is accepting that you will experience persecution for your faith.
Humility means not being fearful of those who despise you for your beliefs.
“Great graces cannot be obtained without great humility. When you yourself experience humiliation, you should take it as a sure sign that some great grace is in store.” –St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Our Blessed Mother was humble, admitting her own “lowliness.” (Luke 1:48)
St. John the Baptist was humble, admitting that he was not “worthy to loosen the thongs on [the] sandals” of the one who was to come after him. (Luke 3:16)
“Likewise, you younger members, be subject to the presbyters. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for:
‘God opposes the proud
but bestows favor on the humble.’
So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:5-7)
Humility is Jesus being born of a woman and living among His people.
Humility is dying a gruesome death on a cross for the sins of others.
“Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8)
Humility is knowing that we do not deserve what Jesus did for us.
“Not that of ourselves we are qualified to take credit for anything as coming from us; rather, our qualification comes from God.” (2 Corinthians 3:5)
Come Holy Spirit. Teach us to be humble of heart, gentle toward our fellow man, mild in the face of persecution, and meek in attitude. Bring us humility that we may be deserving of Heaven.