Quite possibly the hardest and most important virtue for all of humanity. In fact, St. Augustine said: “Humility is the foundation of all the virtues; therefore, in a soul where it does not exist there can be no true virtue, but the mere appearance only. In like manner, it is the most proper disposition for all celestial gifts. And, finally, it is so necessary to perfection, that of all the ways to reach it, the first is humility; the second, humility; the third, humility.
And if the question were repeated a hundred times, I should always give the same answer.”
Satan turned from God due to his pride. Adam and Eve ate the apples because of their pride. You and I sin every day because of our own pride. Yet this is one of the hardest truths to accept that we cannot make it to heaven without learning humility. Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Matthew
“Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart.”
The lowly shall be exalted, the meek will inherit the earth, the poor in spirit will enter the kingdom of heaven. The list goes on.How many times have we heard people say, “I’m not very religious, but I’m a good person?” Sometimes we fall into this mentality unintentionally. “I didn’t really pay attention in Mass, but at least I came!” or “I don’t have a lot of time to pray and read the Bible each day, but I love Jesus and pray some Hail Marys each day.”
When we slip into this complacency, we’re basically stuck in our pride, saying we don’t need a deeply personal relationship with Jesus to stay humble.In this section from Lamentations, the person admits in the first verse that the “gold has grown dim,” it has changed, and the holy stones lie scattered. The descriptions continue through the passage, laying out the ways in which the glory of Zion fell and was punished. Sin is often that gold for us it grows dim, it changes. It loses its luster and fails to satisfy us.
Sometimes we are our own gold, and in pride, we marvel at our own gold. But we are human, and there are times that we fail, that we sin, that we grow dim and realize we’re not quite as awesome as we thought. How do we respond?
Let us ask ourselves: Do I really believe that humility is the foundation of all virtues? Can I see why that’s a true statement? How can I learn to be meek and humble of heart? Are there some areas in which I struggle with pride more than others? Do I see failures as an opportunity to grow and become more humble, or do I try to change and twist the situation so that I don’t seem quite as bad?