It’s the Christmas Season and I always get hit with the poetry bug. So…my poem on humility. 🙄
We Catholics seek it everywhere
It will get us to heaven, keep us out of hell
The illusive humility, our pride to dispel!
A recent comment by Mom of Five was shared and I thought that I would touch upon it here. The comment was on this post by Father Kinsella. Here is the comment/question:
This is an excellent article – but no matter how many articles I read of this sort (or sections in books I use for Spiritual reading), there is rarely any mention of how best to turn around the prideful tendencies and adopt the humble ones. I think most women who have a tendency towards laziness or a self-centered attitude would find it most difficult to just change overnight. Do you have helpful hints, tips, links you can share that talk about perhaps baby-steps towards becoming more humble? I have friends who say they don’t pray for humility because they know God will send them trials. Well, for starters, that’s the wrong attitude to have – we should WANT those trials, as difficult as they might be, for the very reason that they CAN help us grow in humility, and therefore closer to God, not to mention helping us have that desired companionship with our husbands. But other than praying for humility or praying the Litany of Humility, what other small steps can we take on a daily basis?
For myself, I have tried to build up my husband by complimenting him on his manliness, doing things the way he likes, trying to make him comfortable. I have seen the reciprocal love and attention from him after these occasions of building him up, so I know it works. But there has to be more we can do. What things have worked for you?
My own answer is not ground breaking. And if anyone has any other links, suggestions, please share with us.
I think you have answered some of the questions yourself…and have given us some inspiration. You touched on the most important….prayer.
Humility is a gift. A gift freely given when it is sincerely asked for. We are such prideful creatures, aren’t we? And the more we work on ourselves as wives, the more we see what we are made of, thanks to original sin.
Isn’t it funny, too? As soon as we think we are getting a handle on this humility thing, patting ourselves on the back a bit because we are catching on….it slips through our fingers.
Here is a wonderful, simple ejaculation that also has an indulgence attached to it. We can say it often throughout the day, “Jesus meek and humble of heart, make our hearts like unto Thine”.
Ejaculations are very powerful. Our Lord knows we can’t spend lots of time on our knees (though we should be saying our regular prayers and the daily family rosary) but our little lifting up of the heart and mind throughout the day will give us many graces. He will open our hearts to accept those things that come our way that help us on the royal road of humility. And, it is like you said, we need to be thanking Him for these opportunities because they are gifts, though we may not see it at the time.
Another thing that I think is very important is not to get discouraged with ourselves. When we find we have failed, either with a sharpness of words, a reluctance to serve or whatever, just lift up our little failure to Him who knows us best. We can ask Him to change us….and if we find ourselves not wanting to change, let’s back up and ask for the desire to change. He loves us as we are, sin and all. He knows what we are made of.
If we get mad at ourselves, it makes things worse. We then snap at the 4 yr old, who in turn bites the 2 yr old, who turns around and kicks the dog……You know what I mean. We must have peace or it causes havoc in the home.
An excerpt from Searching for and Maintaining Peace:
“Let us understand this: For the person of goodwill, that which is serious in sin is not so much the fault in itself as the despondency into which it places him. He who falls but immediately gets up has not lost much. He has rather gained in humility and in the experience of mercy. He who remains sad and defeated loses much more. The sign of spiritual progress is not so much never falling as it is being able to lift oneself up quickly after one falls.”
A simple “trick” is just to keep quiet when we are tempted to say something biting. Let it pass and we will find that it is not such a big deal and was not worth losing that “friendship” between you and your husband. How do we keep quiet? Pray. Count to ten. Father once said to take a sip of holy water and leave it in your mouth until you control your tongue. 🙂 Any other suggestions?
A couple of great books…..Humility of Heart ( I read this long ago and remember it was good) and the other one is Searching for and Maintaining Peace. This is an excellent book and will help much in the area of humility.
One more practical book is Fascinating Womanhood. Some may call it antiquated but traditional values and relationships are rather out-dated, aren’t they? I think it takes humility to read this book with an open heart. It’s because it is all about the woman giving 100%. It has old-fashioned ideas about complimenting your man, admiring him, etc. You don’t have to agree with everything in the book but all in all, it is excellent. And don’t just rush through and read it once. Read a bit each day. It keeps our mind and heart thinking of our husband and looking at things from his point of view. Takes humility, right?
As with all the “generic” or “not necessarily Catholic” material out there, I always tell ladies not to read the chapters on sex. Catholics have guidelines in this area so we need to seek out Catholic sources for this.
I think it is often the simple things that seem to elude us. We feel it needs to be more complicated if we are to get any benefit from it. God, in His Mercy, knows our frailty and offers us simple solutions. So, if we pray each day, read a bit each day…consistently…we will find…slowly…..that we will be changing. We will be becoming more virtuous without really even noticing it.
Baby steps, like you said. 🙂 Thank you for your thought-provoking comment!