My roommate and I decided that we both need to grow in humility, but we are seeking some advice as to how to do this. We understand that we must pray constantly for the grace of this virtue, but we also know that virtues must be practiced. It seems easier with other virtues to identify concrete ways to practice them (e.g. generosity- sharing your time with others more, charity- taking care to speak well of others, etc.). Does anyone have any advice for growing in humility?
1 If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing. 3 Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, 4 each looking out not for his own interests, but (also) everyone for those of others. 5 Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus,6 Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. 7 Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, 8 he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. 9 Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The Benefits of Finding Sorrow in Oneself
Devout and religious mourning occupies the first place and is outstanding in usefulness in the Spirit’s teaching. It is:
The highest wisdom of the saints,
The safeguard of the just,
The sobriety of the moderate,
The first virtue of beginners,
The spur of the proficient,
The crown of the perfect,
The salvation of those who are perishing,
The harbor of those in danger—
In a word it promises consolations in the present and joys in the future. To these may we be led by him who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
Blessed Guerric of Igny
Litany of Humility
Written by Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930), Secretary of State for Pope Saint Pius X.
O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
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 …
From the 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, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
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…
One of the BEST WAYS of achieving humility is by way of obedience. Obedience to higher authority, of which is God first and foremost but also authority that we have on earth. Government for example (eg. obey those speed limits), and Of course our BELOVED Church!!
OBEDIENCE is so perfect for humilty. See how any ways you can be humble just by being obedient. Make yourself less and others increase. God bless.
One of the best ways I’ve discovered some humility was by making a Comprehensive Examination of Conscience for a Comprehensive Confession - which used to be a not uncommon practice amongst devout Catholics. St. Ignatius Loyola highly recommends it.
In other words, review ALL of the sins of your entire life.
(So long as it doesn’t degenerate into morbid shame. People with pathologically low self-esteem, depression, etc., might not want to try it.)
It is very hard ever again to be proud, in the glaring light, not just of all the evil one has committed, but of all the just plain stupid mistakes, as well.
And very liberating, to leave it all on the Cross…
Humility is more about truth than about thinking lowly of yourself. The core of humility is perfect honesty and integrity.
There is great freedom in accepting the truth about yourself. That is why a good, comprehensive confession can be an excellent place to start. In the prayerful preparation for it, you will learn much about your grace history as well as your sin history, and you will see the hand of God in your life in a way that enables you to begin your life-long walk towards humility.
[quote=Jessica] Does anyone have any advice for growing in humility?
the first degree of humility is obedience without delay (Rule of St. Benedict, chapter 5)
chapter 7 gives the 12 steps of humility
fear of the Lord and guard against sin,
conformity to God’s will and renunciation of self-will
obedience to lawful superiors is obedience to God
patience, perseverence and endurance in obedience even in the face of difficulties and injustices
confess all sins and evil thoughts (be pure of heart)
be content with what you have (be poor in spirit)
meekness and childlike faith (blessed are the lowly)
do nothing that is not ordered by one’s superiors and the rule of monastic life (do not take it upon yourself to impose spiritual disciplines and devotions above and beyond what the Church imposes)
restraint of the tongue and holy silence
avoid heedless laughter, sarcasm, joking
speak gently and without clamor and boasting
be humble of heart and manifest humility in speech and action
our father Benedict points constantly to the beatitudes and quotes them in his school for humility and holiness.
On a regular basis, for me, a daily examination of conscience as well as frequent Confession (twice monthly) provide salutary occasions of growth in humility.
(The latter also keeps me perpetually eligible to work on plenary indulgences…)
You must get to know yourself better, and you will see what you really are. And realizing that Jesus died to save you from yourself, you transfer love of self to love of God, acting it out by serving others in virtue.
In self-knowledge, then, you will humble yourself, seeing that, in yourself, you do not even exist; for your very being, as you will learn, is derived from Me, since I have loved both you and others before you were in existence; and that, through the ineffable love which I had for you, wishing to re-create you to Grace, I have washed you, and re-created you in the Blood of My only-begotten Son, spilt with so great a fire of love. This Blood teaches the truth to him, who, by self-knowledge, dissipates the cloud of self-love, and in no other way can he learn.
Wherefore, when the soul knows herself, as we have said above, she finds humility and hatred of her own sensual passion, for she learns the perverse law, which is bound up in her members, and which ever fights against the spirit. And, therefore, arising with hatred of her own sensuality, crushing it under the heel of reason, with great earnestness, she discovers in herself the bounty of My goodness, through the many benefits which she has received from Me, all of which she considers again in herself. She attributes to Me, through humility, the knowledge which she has obtained of herself, knowing that, by My grace, I have drawn her out of darkness and lifted her up into the light of true knowledge. When she has recognized My goodness, she loves it without any medium, and yet at the same time with a medium, that is to say, without the medium of herself or of any advantage accruing to herself, and with the medium of virtue, which she has conceived through love of Me, because she sees that, in no other way, can she become grateful and acceptable to Me, but by conceiving, hatred of sin and love of virtue; and, when she has thus conceived by the affection of love, she immediately is delivered of fruit for her neighbor, because, in no other way, can she act out the truth she has conceived in herself, but, loving Me in truth, in the same truth she serves her neighbor.
The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena p.16, 21
Read about the sin of pride in the Dark Night of the Soul, and you will see how subtle and tricky pride can become.
Remember that humility can easily be feigned, so true humility is acceptance of what you are … neither more nor less. For example, simply guarding against pride may not be enough to lead to true humility.
Here’s an excerpt:
THE guide to humility has already been laid out for you:
1 St Benedict’s chapter on humility in he famous Rule.
St John of the Cross’ work in the Dark Night.
Frequent examination of conscience and** confession.
Study the Beatitudes.
Study the behavior of the Blessed Mother and Jesus himself.**