Lord, I am far too much influenced by what people think of me;
Which means that I am alway pretending to be either richer or smarter than I am. Please prevent me from trying to attract attention.
Don't let me gloat over praise on the one hand and be discouraged by criticism on the other, nor let me waste time weaving the most imaginary situations in which the heroic, charming, witty person present is myself.
Show me how to be humble of heart.
-- Author Unknown
Take from me, Higher Power, my false pride and grandiosity, all my phoniness and self-importance, and help me find the courage that shows itself in gentleness, the wisdom that shows itself in simplicity, and the true power that shows itself in modesty and humility.
In great saints you find that perfect humility and perfect integrity coincide. The two turn out to be practically the same thing. The saint is unlike everybody else precisely because he is humble.
As far as the accidentals of this life are concerned, humility can be quite content with whatever satisfies the general ruin of men. But that does not mean that the essence of humility consists in being just like everybody else. On the contrary, humility consists in being precisely the person you actually are before God, and since no two people are alike, if you have the humility to be yourself you will not be like anyone else in the whole universe. But this individuality will not necessarily assert itself on the surface of everyday life. It will not be a matter of mere appearances, or opinions, or tastes, or ways of doing things. It is something deep in the soul.
To The truly humble man the ordinary ways and customs and habits of men are not a matter for conflict. The saints do not get excited about the things that people eat and drink, wear on their bodies or hang on the walls of their houses. To make conformity or nonconformity with others in these accidents a matter of life and death is to fill your interior life with confusion and noise. Ignoring all this as indifferent, the humble man takes whatever there is in the world that helps him to find God and leaves the rest aside. (Reminds me of the AA phrase: Take the best and leave the rest.)
He is able to see quite clearly that what is useful to him may be useless for somebody else, and what helps others to be saints might ruin him. That is why humility brings with it a deep refinement of spirit, a peacefulness, a tact and a common sense without which there is no sane morality.
It is not humility to insist on being someone that you are not. It is as much as saying that you know better than God who you are and who you ought to be. How do you expect to arrive at the end of your own journey if you take the road to another man’s city? How do you expect to reach your own perfection by leading someone else’s life? His sanctity will never be yours; you must have the humility to work out your own salvation in a darkness where you are absolutely alone ….
And so it takes heroic humility to be yourself and to be nobody but the man, or the artist,that God intended you to be.
You will be made to feel that your honesty is only pride. This is a serious temptation because you can never be sure whether you are being true to your true self or only building up a defense for the false personality that is the creature of your own appetite for esteem.
But the greatest humility can be learned from the anguish of keeping your balance is such a position of continuing to be yourself without getting tough about it and without asserting your false self against the false selves of other people.
-- Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation
The value of our activity depends almost entirely on the humility to accept ourselves as we are. The reason why we do things so badly is that we are not content to do what we can. We insist on doing what is not asked of us, because we want to taste the success that belongs to somebody else. We never discover what it is like to make a success of our own work, because we do not want to undertake any work that is merely proportionate to our powers. Who is willing to be satisfied with a job that expresses all his limitations? He will accept such work only as a "means of livelihood" while he waits to discover his "true vocation." The world is full of unsuccessful businessmen who still secretly believe they were meant to be artists or writers or actors in the movies. -- Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island
…. Humility, therefore, is absolutely necessary if man is to avoid acting like a baby all his life. To grow up means, in fact, to become humble, to throw away the illusion that I am the center of everything and that other people only exist to provide me with comfort and pleasure. Unfortunately pride is so deeply embedded in human society that instead of educating one another for humility and maturity, we bring each other up in selfishness and pride. The attitudes that ought to make us mature too often only give us a kind of poise, a kind of veneer, that make our pride all the more suave and effective. For social life, in the end is too often simply a convenient compromise by which your pride and mine are able to get along together without too much friction.
--Thomas Merton’s book: The New Man
Litany of Humility
Secretary of State for Pope Saint Pius X
Fromthe desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved...
From the desire of being extolled ...
From the desire of being honored ...
From the desire of being praised ...
From the desire of being preferred to others...
From the desire of being consulted ...
From the desire of being approved ...
From the fear of being humiliated ...
Fromthe fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebukes ...
From the fear of being calumniated ...
From the fear of being forgotten ...
From the fear of being ridiculed ...
From the fear of being wronged ...
From the fear of being suspected ...
That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I ...
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease ...
That others may be chosen and I set aside ...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should.
According to St. Benedict, there are twelve degrees of humility by which we are called to attain by the grace of GOD. To attain perfection in humility, there must first be the desire to fulfill GOD's holy Will, and then be subject to your superior, whom GOD has placed at your service. To the laity who do not belong to any Order or apostolate, your Superior is Christ JESUS, through the Church which He established
Jesus renounced pride from the time of His Birth, right up to His Crucifixion. In one of His sermon's, Our Lord stated: "Everyone that exalteth himself shall be humbled, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted, (Luke 14:11)." Therefore let us humble ourselves before GOD in our prayers, works and actions, striving to gain everlasting glory.
THE FIRST DEGREE OF HUMILITY: Keep the fear of GOD before your eyes, altogether shunning forgetfulness. Consider that GOD is always beholding you from Heaven, that your actions are everywhere visible to Him, and are constantly being reported by the angels.
THE SECOND DEGREE OF HUMILITY: A man should not love his own will, nor delight in fulfilling his own desires. Let us carry out in deed the saying of the Lord: "I came not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me, (John 6:38)." GOD is calling us to follow His holy Will. We are all part of His great plan of salvation, we all have a special role to play, therefore let us set our hearts on that which lasts forever and that is Heaven. Those who desire to follow their own will shall never leave the ground and shall always be part of the world.
THE THIRD DEGREE OF HUMILITY: For the love of GOD, one should subject himself to his superior in all obedience, imitating the Lord, of whom the apostle Paul says: "He was made obedient even unto death," (Phil 2:8). JESUS was obedient to the Father by following His Will and offering Himself on our behalf that we (sinners), may be reconciled with the Father and our sins be forgiven.
THE FOURTH DEGREE OF HUMILITY: Meeting in this obedience with difficulties and contradictions and even injustice, one should with a quiet mind hold fast to patience. Moreover, in adversities and injuries, patiently fulfill the Lord 's commands; when struck on one cheek offer the other, when robbed of tunic surrender also your cloak, when forced to go a mile go two, and with the St. Paul, bear with false brethren, and bless those that curse you.
THE FIFTH DEGREE OF HUMILITY: Humbly confess and do not conceal from the superior any evil thoughts that enter the heart, and any secret sins committed. The religious and laity are called to humble themselves before a priest to confess their sins. Therefore when that day comes, we can say to the Lord: "I have made known my sins to thee, and my faults I have not concealed."
THE SIXTH DEGREE OF HUMILITY: A man be content with the meanest and worst of everything, and esteem himself, in regard to work that is given him, as a bad and unworthy workman, saying to himself with the prophet: "I am brought to nothing; I am all ignorance; I am become as a dumb beast before thee; yet am I ever close to thee," (Ps 72: 22-23).
THE SEVENTH DEGREE OF HUMILITY: One should not only in his speech declare himself lower and of less account than all others, but should in his own inmost heart believe it, humbling himself with the prophet: "But I am a worm, and no man, the reproach of men, and the outcast of the people," (Ps 21:7).
THE EIGHTH DEGREE OF HUMILITY: Do nothing except what is commended by the common rules of the order or apostolate and the examples of the superior, living under rules which increases the desire to live and labour for the glory of GOD.
THE NINTH DEGREE OF HUMILITY: Restrain the tongue and keep silence, not speaking until questioned. For the scripture shows "the talkative man shall not prosper on the earth, " (Ps 139:12).
THE TENTH DEGREE OF HUMILITY: Be not ready and prompt to laughter, for it is written: "The fool lifteth up his voice in laughter," (Sir 21:23).
THE ELEVENTH DEGREE OF HUMILITY: When you speak, do so gently and without laughter, humbly and seriously, in few and sensible words, and with clamour. It is written: "A wise man is known by the fewness of his words."
THE TWELFTH DEGREE OF HUMILITY: Not only should one be humble of heart, but should also in behavior always manifest humility to those who look upon you. That is to say, whether at the Work of GOD, in the oratory, in the monastery, in the garden, on the road, in the fields, or anywhere else, and whether sitting, walking, or standing, you should always have your head bowed and eyes downcast. Constantly say in your heart what was said by the publican who would not so much as lift up his eyes towards Heaven: " O'GOD, be merciful to me a sinner," (Luke 18:13).
FINALLY, when all these degrees of humility have been climbed, you will presently come to that perfect love of GOD which casts out all fear. Let us now imitate JESUS in his humility and follow in His example, for as Our Lord said:
"Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart."
With all humility and gentleness, and with patience, support each other in love.
As the chosen of God, then, the holy people whom he loves, you are to be clothed in heartfelt compassion, in generosity and humility, gentleness and patience.
The Proverbs 15:33
The fear of Yahweh is a school of wisdom, before there can be glory, there must be humility.
The Proverbs 18:12
The human heart is haughty until destruction comes, before there can be glory there must be humility.
The proud thinks humility abhorrent; so too, the rich abominates the poor.
Acts of Apostles 20:19
how I have served the Lord in all humility, with all the sorrows and trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews.
3 Seek Yahweh, all you humble of the earth, who obey his commands. Seek uprightness, seek humility: you may perhaps find shelter on the Day of Yahweh's anger.
In these rules you can indeed find what seems to be good sense -- the cultivation of the will, and a humility which takes no account of the body; but in fact ...
1 Peter 5:5
In the same way, younger people, be subject to the elders. Humility towards one another must be the garment you all wear constantly, because God opposes the ...
The Proverbs 22:4
The reward of humility is the fear of Yahweh, and riches, honour and life.
Nothing is to be done out of jealousy or vanity; instead, out of humility of mind everyone should give preference to others,
The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is a Catholic translation of the Bible published in 1985. The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) has become the most widely used Roman Catholic Bible outside of the United States. It has the imprimatur of Cardinal George Basil Hume.
Like its predecessor, the Jerusalem Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) version is translated "directly from the Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic." The 1973 French translation, the Bible de Jerusalem, is followed only "where the text admits to more than one interpretation." Introductions and notes, with some modifications, are taken from the Bible de Jerusalem.
Source: The Very Reverend Dom (Joseph) Henry Wansbrough, OSB, MA (Oxon), STL (Fribourg), LSS (Rome), a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and a biblical scholar. He was General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible. "New Jerusalem Bible, Regular Edition", pg. v.