[quote="Student09, post:4, topic:182555"]
Maybe I should clarify why this is a concern for me. Of course I don't think we should "make light of sin," I hate my sins and often I feel like the worst sinner on the planet. But if I were a saint, I guess I would be able to just accept it or something. Instead I have a habit of beating myself up verbally, telling myself that I am "worthless" and "stupid." I know from experience that it's destructive. When I read about a saint doing something similar, it's confusing.
Or do you all think I should just keep saying those things to myself and God would like that?
I get what you mean. Actually, I tend to do that to myself sometimes when I realize that I have hurt a neighbor with insults, etc., etc. Go figure.:rolleyes:
So, here's what I want to say to you: humility is knowing that you're a sinner and that only God can help you -- in the ultimate sense -- towards Heaven. For you may be the harshest insulter in the world, you may be the most jealous person in the world. But if you are humble, you don't get all haughty and say that "oh, I'm perfect" just because you're at a higher part of the path towards God than others who may be way behind.
Also, when you are in a state of humility, you tend to say that, "Okay, I can't redo this insult. However, I will leave it up to God so that I may have the strength to ask forgiveness of my neighbor." That is, you are aware of the truth, and you don't try to change it so that everybody feels better. Instead, you just make do with what you have and leave the rest up to Him.
Self-deprecation, on the other hand, is false humility. Actually, I learned this from a John Ciardi commentary on Dante's "Divine Comedy". Now I forgot where it said it, but the thing was that self-deprecation is kinda like lying to yourself on how bad you really are. That is, maybe you have sinned a lot, sure. But you are not so sinful as to be rendered irredeemable by Christ, if you know what I mean.
And if self-deprecation is like lying to yourself, then God wouldn't like that. Because even though we know our souls better than any other human, God knows our souls even better than us. So, just think of what God said to St. Teresa in order to combat this: "It is not vile, my child, it is made in My image." Because that's what he thinks of us (and besides, that statement is a clear example of God not liking self-deprecation :))!
Now, about these saints, I don't know where in the spiritual path they said these things. However, if this was said early in their path, I think it just goes to show you on how human they really were -- and are. They themselves had insecurities about their souls, but in the end, they overcame them. And that's the goal of a saint: to overcome.
I hope this helps. I'll be praying for you and all who have this similar problem. God bless! :thumbsup: