Proud to be Humble

A Rosary Meditation: The First Joyful Mystery, The Annunciation.

“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women.” Luke 1:28.

Can you imagine what it would be like to have an angel sent from God tell you that you’re “full of grace”? You’d know that the angel would only say what God told him to, and so you’d know it was true. But would you really know it, the same way you know that your eyes are blue or that your hair is thinning? How would that work? If you were really full of grace wouldn’t you be totally humble as a result? If you were totally humble could you admit to yourself that you were full of grace? Wouldn’t that be pride? How could you reconcile the two? Or are we missing a point here, you and me, because we’re NOT full of grace (even while being in the state of grace) and as a result looking at the thing in the wrong light? Because if an angel said that to me, well, I wrestle with pride in certain areas already. Well …

Pride. There are at least two kinds. There’s the all too human kind. “Look at me! Look what I did!” That’s the kind we don’t want. Why? Because of ourselves we can do nothing. So the right sort of pride would say, “Look at God! Look at what He used me to do!” Now that’s a good kind of pride. Its not about “me”, its about HIM. If Mary ever felt pride it was because she was proud of Him.

Humility. Humility is, simply put, honest self evaluation. That’s all it is, its no more complicated than that. For example, if I tell you I’m good at something when I’m not its nothing more than bragging. And its a lie. If I tell you that I’m not good at something when I am, in an attempt to be humble, I’ve lied again and no lie was ever humble. But if I’m honest with you about what I’m good at and what I’m not good at, that is if the topic comes up and I need to tell you at all, then I’m humble. Want to be humble? Easy. Be as honest about yourself with others as you can be, but only if there’s a need to talk about yourself at all. And if there is a need make certain God gets the glory for your talents, and that He doesn’t get the blame for your shortcomings. Mary was humble. And she was humble because she was honest.

The verse above, just the words, “full of grace”, say a lot more about Mary, and by extension us, than you’d think. And they give us, by giving us a lesson, a goal. To be rightly proud of our God and what He does and as honestly humble as we can be given our current state as we grow in grace. Which is just what Mary, as our mother, would want for us.

“Pride goeth before destruction: and the spirit is lifted up before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18, Douay-Rheims.

Just a thought … I suppose we could do theological cartwheels ’round the subjects of pride and humility. And there are times when those cartwheels are fruitful. Hey, good mental exercise never hurt anybody. But I think its a lot easier to just be honest about ourselves, giving God the glory for any good in ourselves, and rightly taking the blame for those things that aren’t so good. Honestly.

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2 Comments

  1. Also, one sure sign of humility is obedience to lawful authority, and a sign of pride is disobedience from lawful authority. The first Eve’s act of disobedience marked the beginning of our exile from Paradise; the second Eve’s act of obedience marked the beginning of our return. God bless!

    • And you are exactly right. The Rule of St. Benedict has a lot to say about obedience and disobedience. And, sadly, a persons disobedience tells us everything we need to know about the person. Pray for the disobedient. And give thanks for the obedient. 🙂


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