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Streams of Mercy, Part 2: Humility

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By Melanie Williams (Jun 1, 2018)
We continue our series "Streams of Mercy," reflecting on themes and lessons presented in the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska. Each month, we dive into a different virtue or theme presented by our Lord in the Diary, so that we might learn from Him and prepare our hearts for His coming to us each and every day, and at the end of our lives — whether that be through a bodily death or His Second Coming. This month we reflect on the virtue of humility.

"Humility, humility, and ever humility," St. Faustina wrote, "as we can do nothing of ourselves; all is purely and simply God's grace" (Diary, 55).

If there is one virtue that St. Faustina seems to think she can't emphasize enough, it would be humility. She wrote frequently about humility and steadfastly sought to practice it in her daily life. Why? Well, the Blessed Mother herself told St. Faustina that humility was one of three virtues that are dearest to her, the Immaculate Conception, and most pleasing to God (the other two virtues being purity and love of God; see Diary, 1415).

Furthermore, Jesus told St. Faustina the following: "True greatness is in loving God and in humility" (424); "Your humility draws Me down from My lofty throne, and I unite Myself closely with you" (1109); and "My bride, you always please Me by your humility. The greatest misery does not stop Me from uniting Myself to a soul, but where there is pride, I am not there" (1563).

You may be thinking, "That's great to hear and all, but how do I learn humility and how do I practice it?"

Before you get discouraged, please take the following to heart. First of all, virtues are a grace from God, so if you feel that you need to grow in humility, ask God for the grace of this particular virtue. After all, Jesus said to His disciples, "Ask and it will be given to you" (Mt 7:7).

Secondly, reflect upon the Passion of Jesus. Saint Faustina wrote:

Jesus told me that ... he who wants to learn true humility should reflect upon the Passion of Jesus. When I meditate upon the Passion of Jesus, I get a clear understanding of many things I could not comprehend before. I want to resemble You, O Jesus, - You crucified, tortured, and humiliated. Jesus, imprint upon my heart and soul Your own humility (Diary, 267).


There's nothing as humbling as seeing what Jesus did for our sins. I think that's one of the reasons why Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" was so effective. Seeing before our very eyes how far God, in human flesh, went to save us from sin and death is the most humiliating, in the true sense of the word, experience. In true humility, your soul bows down before God, not in self-condemnation or self-hatred, but in light of who He is and in utter gratitude for His mercy and how much He loves you.

A sign of this true humility is the awareness of one's own littleness and sinfulness simultaneous with the presence of the virtue of trust in God's mercy which has forgiven you of your sins and strengthens you in your misery (see Diary, 1559).

So, how do you practice the virtue of humility? First of all, know that God provides enough opportunities for humility, one does not necessarily need to seek them out (see Diary, 1503).

There are opportunities in our daily life to practice the virtue of humility. Saint Faustina was advised by her spiritual director, Blessed Michael Sopocko, to practice humility in this way: "Not only must one refrain from explaining and defending oneself when reproached with something, but one should rejoice at the humiliation" (see Diary, 270).

Try to practice awareness in your daily life of how God is calling you to humility. I offer you the prayer of the Litany of Humility here to help you reflect on ways that God may be calling you to grow in this virtue.

If you missed part one, you can read it here.

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MaryRose - Nov 25, 2018

I cannot begin to thank you enough for these lessons in virtue. I lead our Eucharistic Apostolate and struggles sometimes with understanding the virtue of humility. If I don’t understand it, how can I help others?! Thank you!