TWENTY SECOND SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
‘Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled’ St. Bernard of Clairvaux is quoted as saying that the three greatest virtues in life are humility, humility, humility. The word humility comes from the Latin word ‘humus’, meaning earth. To be humble, then is to be grounded, earthed. Humility is not weakness. It is the surest sign of strength. It is the key to wonder. It means accepting with joy the wonder of my being, while acknowledging that all I have comes from God. It is about developing a healthy estimate of myself as He sees me. The opposite of humility is pride. Pride is about my glory; humility is about God’s glory. Pride is concerned with who is right; humility is concerned with what is right. Pride makes us artificial; humility makes us real (Thomas Merton). It’s not thinking less of myself; it’s thinking of myself less. It’s not about denying my strengths; it’s being honest about my weaknesses. We actually come nearest to the great when we are great in humility. St. Clare of Assisi got the balance right when she was heard to pray on her deathbed: ‘thank you God for having created me’.