Humility preserves and restores goodness PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 20 July 2017 13:33



AGAIN, we cannot overemphasize the importance of this virtue of humility. It is what preserves whatever goodness we have, whatever we have received from God. And if we happen to lose that goodness, it is also this virtue that helps to recover it.

We should do everything to grow always in this virtue. In a previous column, we have already said that this virtue is a very tricky and slippery one. The moment we say we are humble, the tentacles of pride start to grab us. We can never say we are humble enough. We have to continue to grow in it, always identifying the shifting frontlines of the battle for humility as we go on with our life.

The reason our first parents lost their state of original justice was precisely because they were overtaken by pride, by the thought that they can replace God. They were intoxicated by the goodness they were enjoying then. That’s why they disobeyed God’s command not to eat of the forbidden fruit.

For us to see the true value of humility, we only have to look at Christ. Being the Son of God, and God himself, he shows us how humility indeed preserves goodness and restores it once that goodness is lost.

As St. Paul once said, Christ “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant…” (Phil 2,7) From his birth to his death, the marks of his humility and everything that flows from it were all obvious.

In that way, Christ managed to do only those that his Father wanted him to do, which is how goodness that can only come from God is preserved. “I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” (Jn 6,38)

We need to understand that humility involves giving our will to the will of God. It is a giving away that actually is not a loss at all but an immense gain for us. That’s because that is how we have been created, how we have been designed. Without God, like a branch cut off from the vine, we just die and are capable only of doing evil.

And precisely because Christ did only what his Father commanded him to do, he managed to recover us from the state of sin and restore us to the state of grace. How truly important it is to be humble. It is what would enable us to obey God’s will, and to do so irrespective of the great cost in terms of suffering it may involve.

In the case of Christ, he managed to make that supreme sacrifice of offering his life for our sake. Humility, as we can see here, is never a passive virtue, much less a sign of weakness. It is strength, it is power, it fuels our capacity to love to the end.

We need to do everything to grow in this virtue every day. Let’s never take it for granted, for many now are the occasions when we are tempted to be on our own, to fall into pride and blinding egoism.

Remember, it’s humility that preserves whatever goodness we have, and recovers it once it is lost.