Reflection on a Saying of a Desert Christian: anonymous

“A certain brother asked one of the great Fathers what humility is.

“Humility, my child, is always to feel yourself sinful and worse than all other people,” the elder explained. “This is a great and difficult feat. But you can accomplish it by applying yourself with unceasing labor.”

“But how is it possible to see yourself as worse than all others continuously?” the brother wondered.

“Learn to see the good qualities of others and to see your own faults, asking each day for forgiveness from God for them, and you will accomplish it,” the Saint advised.”

At first glance, my response was “balderdash.” I confess that is often my first response when I read one of these Sayings but I have learned that if I allow it to sit with me as I go about my day, it almost always begins to speak to me.

Certainly, modern psychology would have something to say about and to people who consider themselves to be worse than everyone else.  It wouldn’t hurt us once in a while to remind ourselves that we are sinners but to think we are worse than others, that sticks in the craw.

But the answer to the next question is useful. Learn to see the good in others.  Learn to see my sin, repent,  and ask forgiveness for it, yes, I can see how these things create humility.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s