How can we remind ourselves that we are merely dust?


How can we remind ourselves that the world simply does not revolve around us, that we are one in a billion throughout all of time, that we are merely dust and we could be gone tomorrow? In other words, how can we deflate our overly puffed up ego?


St. Josemaria Escriva’ writings on this subject are very helpful, you might try here:

Hope this helps, God’s blessings to you.


Interesting. What’s mostly so interesting about that, being “one in a billion throughout all of time,” is that God actually loves us and died for us so that we could be His bride and be with Him forever. Wow!


I know. But a big ego doesn’t make that so hard to believe!


Food for thought…

On dust.

‘It is folly not to think of death. It is greater folly to think of it, and not prepare for it.’

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

‘What is it that renders death terrible? Sin. We must therefore fear sin, not death.’

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

‘“Whosoever,” says He, “heareth my words, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, that built his house upon a rock: the rain descended, the floods came, the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” (Matt. vii. 24) We ought therefore to stand fast on His words, to learn and do whatever He both taught and did. But how can a man say that he believes in Christ, who does not do what Christ commanded him to do? Or whence shall he attain to the reward of faith, who will not keep the faith of the commandment? He must of necessity waver and wander, and, caught away by a spirit of error, like dust which is shaken by the wind, be blown about; and he will make no advance in his walk towards salvation, because he does not keep the truth of the way of salvation.’

St. Cyprian of Carthage

‘Those who seek humility should bear in mind the three following things: that they are the worst of sinners, that they are the most despicable of all creatures since their state is an unnatural one, and that they are even more pitiable than the demons, since they are slaves to the demons. You will also profit if you say this to yourself: how do I know what or how many other people’s sins are, or whether they are greater than or equal to my own? In our ignorance you and I, my soul, are worse than all men, we are dust and ashes under their feet. How can I not regard myself as more despicable than all other creatures, for they act in accordance with the nature they have been given, while I, owing to my innumerable sins, am in a state contrary to nature.’

St. Gregory of Sinai

‘It is impossible for us who have fallen into the pit of iniquities ever to be drawn out of it, unless we sink into the abyss of the humility of the repentant.’

St. John Climacus

‘Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance is self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness.’

St. John Climacus

‘Obedience is the complete renunciation of one’s own soul, demonstrated, however, by actions. More exactly, it is the death of the senses in a living soul. Obedience is a freely chosen death, a life without cares, danger without fears, unshakable trust in God, no fear of death. It is a voyage without perils, a journey in your sleep. Obedience is the burial of the will and the resurrection of humility. Obedience is to give up one’s own judgment but to do it with wise consultation. It is very costly, beginning to die to the will and the senses. To continue dying is hard but not indefinitely so. In the end all aversion stops and absolute peace takes command.’

St. John Climacus

‘Just as anyone who climbs a rotten ladder risks his life, so are honors and power a danger for humility.’

St. John Climacus

‘Behold, this is the true and the Christian humility. In this you will be able to achieve victory over every vice, by attributing to God rather than to yourself the fact that you have won.’

St. Martin of Braga

‘During life despise that which will avail you nothing at the hour of death.’

St. Anselm of Canterbury

'A Christian during the whole course of his life should, like unto Jesus, be on the cross. It would be an act of rashness to descend therefrom, since Jesus Christ did not descend, even when the Jews offered to believe in Him. The time for driving out the nails of His cross was only after death, there is then no time to extract the nails whilst we live, – we must wait until our sacrifice is consummated: Non est tempus evellendi clavos."

St. Augustine

‘Outside of God nothing is durable. We exchange life for death, health for sickness, honor for shame, riches for poverty. All things change and pass away.’

St. Catherine of Siena

‘Have death always before your eyes as a salutary means of returning to God.’

St. Bernard of Clairvaux


I think it was St. Therese, the little flower, when speaking about humility said that humility was knowing that we are nothing and God is EVERYTHING. That without HIM we wouldn’t even exist.

When I was reading that it made me think of this:
“In Him, we live and move and have our being.”


That we praise God IN His angels and IN His Saints (its HIM we praise, not them!)


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit