Sunday’s quote from St. Faustina describes how humility is essential for us to become saints. It’s a very challenging quote because it is so simple and yet difficult for us.
The quote reminds me of St. Therese of Lisieux. Her little way was a call to radical humility. St. Therese offered a model for pursuing virtue becoming completely humble.We see this in so many saints. They put God first and others second, and are unconcerned about their own wants. It’s an easy program to describe but so incredibly difficult for us due to concupiscence. We have selfish desires constantly. This is so pervasive, we are often not aware of our selfishness.
Pursuing humility over selfishness is the key to spiritual journey. In the Pillar of the Humanity of the Savior we see St. Hildegard’s plan for developing virtue. This plan is a pursuit of humility, but it also has as an early essential step, developing humility. Our path to virtue starts with humility leads to humility. This double emphasis in humility highlights that we must first value others at least as much as we value ourselves to start on the path to virtue. To reach the pinnacle, we must renounce every selfish tendency and surrender totally.
Faustina exemplifies Hildegard’s focus on humility. Humility is essential to reach heaven.
In our fallen nature, it is easy to wonder why we must be humble to go to heaven. If God loves me, what does my humility matter? Won’t He still let me in?
Of course God loves you and wants above all else for you to join Him in heaven for eternity. This is personal invition from our all power Creator – a Creator who is our loving Father. God will forgive any sin if we are repentent, and He will welcome anyone who wants to go to heaven.
This is the challenge. Will we conform ourselves to truth and humility so that we will want to be in heaven? If we have not conformed ourselves to a virtuous life, we will have no humility. Our selfishness will stand out in the bright light of God’s truth. Our pride will burn and sting so badly that we will want nothing more than to leave God’s presence.
One of the greatest challenges in humility is relying on others and relying on God. We are taught to be self-reliant, but this is just a form of pride. Until we can accept the help of others, we will not be able to accept God’s help. It is a great tragedy that so many people suffer needlessly because they will not let God help them.
Becoming humble is both the easiest and hardest thing we could ever do. It is the easiest because we do not need to do anything. Surely, serving others is an expression of humility can be hard work, but humility isn’t hard work. It is a habit and and a disposition. Unfortunately, this disposition is often the hardest thing to develop because are so terribly selfish and prideful. Concupience makes us see humility as a burden, a chore and a path to suffering. The reality is the opposite. In humility we love others and we are loved by them. The result is deeper joy. In eternity, humility leads to unity with the One who is joy.