“God resists the proud”

A sure way to be humble is to contemplate how, even without talents, fame or fortune, we can be effective instruments if we go to the Holy Spirit so that He may grant us his gifts. The apostles, though they had been taught by Jesus for three years, fled in terror from the enemies of Christ. But after Pentecost they let themselves be flogged and imprisoned, and ended up giving their lives in witness to their faith. (Furrow, 283)

In his preaching, Our Lord Jesus Christ very often sets before our eyes the example of his own humility. 'Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart' [1], so that you and I may know that there is no other way, and that only our sincere recognition of our nothingness is powerful enough to draw divine grace towards us. St Augustine says: 'It was for us that Jesus came to suffer hunger and to be our food, to suffer thirst and to be our drink, to be clothed with our mortality and to clothe us with immortality, to be poor so as to make us rich' [2].

'God resists the proud, but gives his grace to the humble' [3], the apostle St Peter teaches. In any age, in any human setting, there is no other way, to live a godly life, than that of humility. Does this mean that God takes pleasure in our humiliation? Not at all. What would he, who created all things and governs them and maintains them in existence, gain from our prostration? God only wants us to be humble and to empty ourselves, so that he can fill us. He wants us not to put obstacles in his way so that — humanly speaking — there will be more room for his grace in our poor hearts. For the God who inspires us to be humble is the same God who 'will refashion the body of our lowliness, conforming it to the body of his glory, by exerting the power by which he is able also to subject all things to himself' [4]. Our Lord makes us his own, he makes us divine with a 'true godliness'. (Friends of God, 97-98)

[1] Matt 11:29

[2] St Augustine, Enarrationes in Psalmos, 49,19 (PL 36,577)

[3] 1 Pet 5:5

[4] Phil 3:21

Receive messages by e-mail