Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Having a Humble Opinion of Self

Having a Humble Opinion of Self

If you wish to learn and appreciate something worth while, then love to be unknown and
considered as nothing.

EVERY man naturally desires knowledge2
; but what good is knowledge without fear of God?
Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to
study the course of the stars. 3
 He who knows himself well becomes mean in his own eyes and is
not happy when praised by men.
If I knew all things in the world and had not charity, what would it profit me before God Who
will judge me by my deeds?
Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals
like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which
does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which
lead to salvation is very unwise.
Many words do not satisfy the soul; but a good life eases the mind and a clean conscience
inspires great trust in God.
The more you know and the better you understand, the more severely will you be judged, unless
your life is also the more holy. Do not be proud, therefore, because of your learning or skill. Rather,
fear because of the talent given you. If you think you know many things and understand them well
enough, realize at the same time that there is much you do not know. Hence, do not affect wisdom,
but admit your ignorance. Why prefer yourself to anyone else when many are more learned, more
cultured than you?
If you wish to learn and appreciate something worth while, then love to be unknown and
considered as nothing. Truly to know and despise self is the best and most perfect counsel. To think
of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect
wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider
yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but
you must admit that none is more frail than yourself.

Source Imitation of Christ here

Humility is difficult to acquire because one can think one is humble by writing about humility!

It is a shameful thing for us to wish to appear humble when we are not so. There are certain occasions when in our interior acts we must practice humility; but we must watch over ourselves carefully, so that in thus practicing it we may not desire to be thought humble. And that is why hidden acts of humility are safer than exterior ones. But if there is pride in wishing that the humility we have should be recognized and known, what measure of presumption would there not be in wishing to be thought humble when we have no humility? Let us beware lest the words of Holy Writ be applicable to ourselves: 

"There is one that humbleth himself wickedly, and his interior is full of deceit." [Ecclus xix, 23]  Humility of Heart source here

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