(“He Who Humbles Himself Will Be Exalted”)
ACCORDING TO ORIGINES, humility consists of curbing one’s loftiness of spirit and one’s vain desires. But this repression must not reach the point where one falls into the vice of dejection. St. Andronicus says that it is not good to humble oneself excessively and that dejection is a vice. Note that humility can be of many kinds. Showing oneself to be smaller than others. Being graciously submissive. Believing that one is not complete in all ways. Fearing all those things that should be feared. From humility stem the following virtues: the first one is obeisance, that is paying esteem to others. The second is reverence, that is to revere those greater than oneself. The third is obedience, meaning to obey those who have the right to command. The fourth is gratitude, or the deserving and the recognizing any service or benefaction received.
We may compare the virtue of humility to the lamb who is the mildest animal in the world. He endures all that is done to him and submits to everybody’s will. That is why in the Holy Scriptures he is compared to the Son of God with the saying: Lamb of God who Takes the Sins of the World upon Thyself. Of this virtue Solomon says: “If anyone should give thee power over all his belongings, do not exalt thyself but rather act so as to make him appear master
Wisdom is ofttimes nearer when we stop than when we soar.
THE EXCURSION, HENRY WADSWORTH
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