Saturday, October 29, 2016

Humility in the seventh degree

The seventh degree of humility is, when, not only with his tongue he declareth, but also in his inmost soul believeth, that he is the lowest and vilest of men, humbling himself and saying with the Prophet: But I am a worm and no man, the reproach of men and the outcast of the people. I have been exalted and humbled and confounded. And also: It is good for me that Thou hast humbled me, that I may learn Thy commandments.

In the sixth step, we learn that we are to throw out our earthly notions of worth so as to become completely indifferent to any values that Society might put upon us or require us to hold. It is one thing to be able to do this intellectually, but can we do this from the heart?

It is only from within the very depths of our heart that we can hope to meet God. If our heart is cluttered by the world, then we will not be able to see Him. It is not enough to pay lip-service to Humility, it must come from within.

This requires a purge of even our own values, even if they are good values. We must empty ourselves of all pretense and pretention. We have to believe that we are insubstantial and own up to needing God's love in order just to be.

The trouble is that while only a part of humility can be practised, the majority of it can only come through humiliation, and honestly accepting that humiliation.  Each time we are humiliated, we must recognise it as an opportunity for emptying of ourselves for the Love of God to combine with our human nature and further us on the path to theosis.

People will hate us because we love God -that's Our Lord’s promise. The resulting humiliation will only make us more like Him if we let it.

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