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"For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled while he who humbles himself shall be exalted." —Luke 18:14
When we pray and as we follow Jesus, our lives must be characterized by humility. Humility is not humiliation; it is not "putting ourselves down" (see Sir 10:27). Humility is facing reality. It is having the right perspective of ourselves in relation to the awesome God. The Lord tells us to humble ourselves (Lk 18:14). We can do this through confession and repentance. For example, all the publican "did was beat his breast and say, 'O God, be merciful to me, a sinner' " (Lk 18:13).
We also humble ourselves by taking the lowest place (Lk 14:10), avoiding titles which could be temptations to pride (Mt 23:7ff), washing others' feet (Jn 13:14), forgiving others, apologizing, taking correction, enduring injustices against ourselves (see 1 Cor 6:7), being fools for Christ (1 Cor 4:10), choosing to be materially poor (Mt 5:3), exposing ourselves to persecution (Mt 5:10-11), associating with the lowly (Rm 12:16), offering no resistance to injury (Mt 5:39), loving our enemies (Mt 5:44), submitting ourselves to authority (Rm 13:1), etc. In effect, we humble ourselves by taking up the daily cross (see Lk 9:23).
Humbling ourselves is a series of decisions which becomes a way of life, a new lifestyle. Jesus commands: "Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart" (Mt 11:29).
Prayer: Father, help me to imitate Jesus by humbling myself even to death (Phil 2:8).
Promise: "It is love that I desire." —Hos 6:6
Praise: After years away from Confession, Susan repented, humbled herself, returned to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and was made new.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Arrogance on audio AV 52-1 or video V-52.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 11, 2008
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