Humility Part I: Humility is a gift from God. The word humility comes from the word humus (dirt). I am to be as lowly as dirt. I can’t decide that I’m going to be humble. Remember this is a gift from God. How can I be humble then? If I sincerely desire to be to be humble, if I honestly want to be humble and pray to God for this most blessed gift he will give it to me. However if I’m not ready to let go of pride, if I find myself still needing to win every argument, if I’m always trying to prove how great I am or if I find myself always wanting attention. Look at me! Look at me! See how insightful, smart, funny, talented, clever or creative I am! Then my request to God for the gift of humility is not that sincere. At the very least I need to show God that I’m making an effort. Yes, it’s true that if I make a dedicated effort God will give me the grace to be humble. Pride is the root of all sin and misery. Humility is the source of all goodness and happiness. Which do I want? I can’t have both. “Please humble me Oh Lord!”
Humility Part II: Why will God answer our prayer for humility when often it seems he doesn’t answer our prayers at all? All prayer is good. All prayer is heard by God and all prayer of petition is answered even though it may not seem like it. God gives us free will but will God give us what we need if we ask? God said he would. God will give us what we need. God will give us the gift of humility because there’s no doubt that it is right for us to have this gift but if we pray for relief from suffering God may not remove suffering from us. Why not? I don’t know. Perhaps our suffering keeps us closer to him and without it we would be far from him. Again, I don’t know. It’s not for us to try to figure out how or when God answers prayers. We’re to love and trust in God unconditionally, confident that he will answer our prayers even though we may not see it.
I understood all this today after coming out of the confessional. Just a few words from Father was all it took for God to pour these truths into my mind.
“Most Gracious, Most Holy, Most Compassionate God, I kneel here humbly before you. I thank you for giving me to see a glimpse of your ways.”