Humility and Meekness
By Archdeacon Habib Guirgus
Humility is the most beautiful, most precious, and the greatest of all virtues.
Pride and boast
were the cause of sin and the origin of all evil, which caused the first and
Humility is the medicine for our cure. Do you want to know about humility? Then, know who you are, and search yourself. In actuality you are nothing and deserve nothing, for everything is from God, so do not steal God's right by your pride, for all what you have from gifts and talents, are from Him.
So, if there is any light in you, it is not from you, but from the source of Light Who granted you this grace.
Humility is the mother of all virtues, the base of love, the harbor for calmness, the rope of perfection, the oppressor of anger, the discipline of the spirit and the entrance of peace to the soul.
Humility is the foundation of obedience, the perfection of wisdom, and the path for the Christian by which the soul is enlightened and the mind illuminates.
Humility is the treasure filled with wisdom which could not be taken or stolen, it is the door to virtue, the key for comfort and grace, the lock of perfection, the tie of reconciliation and peace, the preservation of love, the vessel filled with tranquility for the conscience, and the spring of every virtue.
Learn humility so your soul can grow in virtue. If you are humble, you will keep all of God's commandments and laws, without exerting effort or labor, thus your faith will be strong and your hope steadfast.
Remember that you were created from dust, and to dust you shall return (cf. Genesis 3:19).
Therefore, put all your hope in God, who through Him and by Him you received and were granted what you have.
Your humility will make you a true lover for God without deception or cunning, for love with humility makes you rejoice for the good of others and find happiness in their success.
Humility does not envy those who are gifted or are well-off, and doesn't make mention of others mistakes or reprimand others for their falls, but make note of his personal falls and deficiencies. If you are humble, you will love others from the depth of your heart, respect them, honor them, and interact with them in a nice way, without anger or despise and live in peace with all.
You will not be bothered if neglected and others reached tops in their fame, or others have a dignified job while yours is a humiliating one.
Endure in patience and long-suffering all what befall you from temptations, confessing your weakness, putting aside yourself - knowing that you deserve every trial and strip on your back.
If you are humble, endure all that in quietness and calmness, without anger or disturbance, and say with the prophet; "Therefore I will look to the Lord; I will wait for God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Do not rejoice over me, my enemy, when I fall, I will rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me. I will hear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him, until He pleads my case and executes justice for me; He will bring me forth to the light, and I will see His righteousness" (Micah 7:7-9).
If you are humble, you will receive peace, comfort, calmness, and tranquility, for meekness doesn't accept disputes, and humility reject and flee from quarrels, "By pride comes only contention, but with the well-advised is wisdom" (Proverbs 13:10). "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5).
Do not think that humility is when man says; 'I am humble and despised', or assume it by wearing filthy clothes and accepting humiliating tasks, for if that was humility, everyone would have achieved it. Do not think also, that humility is being of calm nature having a low voice, lowering your head, but true humility is known by the strength of your picture for accepting humiliation for God's sake, and enduring trials in patience, submitting to God and before Him, in a contrite spirit within you, knowing your despised self, then you'll be a truly humble man. Contemplate on yourself, who you are? What are you now? What will be of you, later? Don't you know that we are naught and non-existing, and when you were made, you were made from dust, and now your body is filled with filth and a weak soul under tremendous burden? Contemplate on the flowers and trees, for it is more beautiful than your body. Don't the trees bring forth oil and tasty and delicious fruits with an aroma smell? But your body produces filth and dirt. Look at the end of your life, won't your body return into dust and ashes; "For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes" (James 4:14).
Watch your body, you'll find it as "the flower of the field, will pass away" (James 1:10).
Watch your worldly hopes as it goes down into the grave, hopelessly. Search your mind, you will find it weak and unable to comprehend everything for it cannot recollect everything.
Search your heart, you will find it empty, vacant and evil.
Look at your senses, you will find it weak and all that is in you is despised and nothing deserves to be honored.
In this life you are but a leaf moved by the wind, and like a feather in the weather: one time you are hurt by trials, another in sorrow because of tribulations, and a third time moved by anger, a fourth time captured by sin. In times you are lifted by pride, another troubled by fear and shaken by calamities, yet other times follow your desires.
So, your life is a series of pains and labors. How weak is the person and severely wretched? He is a weak slave, a prisoner of his desires and habits, submitting to his will, and yet he is proud and boastful and believes he is 'something'. "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up" (James 4:10).
"Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor humility" (Proverbs 18:12).
"For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist, says the Lord. But on this one will I look; on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word" (Isaiah 66:2).
"For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones" (Isaiah 57:15).
As the humbled despises himself and feels belittle, he will always glorify His Lord, and God will lift him up. He flees from glory, but glory follows him, for the Lord honors those who honor Him.
Humility is like an aroma, the more you preserve and hide it - it becomes sweeter and spreads. Saint Mary the Virgin said; "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed" (Luke 1:46-48).
Humility lifted Hannah, made David reign on the throne of Israel, made Esther the wife of king Ahasuerus (cf. Esther 1:1), lifted Jacob above his brother Esau, and all the saints were lifted and promoted by it.
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