Thursday, October 25, 2012

Humility of Character - Part II

Because humility avoids comparison, envy is a sure sign of its absence.  Humility can rejoice in the gifts of all, because it recognizes the fundamental oneness of all people in their humanity and in Christ.  Envy thinks of gifts as private property...

When a person has walked consciously in the presence of God and with God's help discovered how merciful God has been to him even in his sin, that person loves God more and more until this love casts out fear.  For Benedict, love overcame and cast out fear not because he came to believe there was no hell, but because he discovered how good God had been to him and he had no reason to think God would ever act differently toward him.  Fear helps keep us on the straight and narrow during the early and laborious days of our seeking to become what God will for us.  As we acquire virtue, we come more and more to do the good spontaneously out of good habit, delight in virtue, and love of Christ.

Humility is the truth about ourselves, the whole truth -- about our weaknesses, our failure, our history, our virtues, our gifts.  Once  we are truthful about ourselves before God and others, we can deal gently with others who are afraid to face the truth about themselves or who fancy themselves our competitors.  Christ humbled himself out of compassion; out of humility grows our compassion for one another.

~ Rev. Hugh Feiss, OSB
in Essential Monastic Wisdom

No comments:

Post a Comment