A Virtue Constantly at Work, if you let it.

“Humility is like the bee making honey in the beehive always at work. Without it everything goes wrong.” -St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila)


Ever have ‘one of those days’ where no matter what you do everything, everything goes wrong. It literally seems as though you ‘can do no right’? I’m probably safe in saying that everyone’s hand went up in answer to that question.


Think back to the most recent time this has happened to you. What were you doing? How were you doing? For whom were you doing? If everything were being done for your recognition, for the proverbial ‘pat on the head’, then yes you were doing everything wrong.


Some times we really need the smack-upside-the-head to get us to realize that all things no matter how great or small are to be done in, for and by the One who gives all graces. Who gives us even the grace to get up each morning giving us the chance to give all to Him, to actually humble ourselves knowing that unaided we can do nothing.


You might ask, “Well then, how can I make so many mistakes and do so many things wrong, if I can’t do anything by myself?” The answer to your question is in the question, ‘by myself’. As I said before, for whom, in whom, and by whom were you doing anything? Secondly, God gave us a free will and He will not interfere with our decision making. He might on-the-other-hand give us choices, but what did we choose? St. Teresa also says in regard to humility: “There’s no queen like humility to make the King surrender. The King does not give Himself but to those who give themselves entirely.” The thing is…accept the graces He gives us to live each day according His will. Doing God’s will is far more pleasing to Him than what we do on our own.


When you practice humility in all things, all the other virtues will follow close. Humility is the ‘key’ that opens the door to all virtue. When you say your Morning Offering (you do don’t you?), do you not offer all your thoughts, words and actions of the day? What good is this prayer if you do not do just that? The words of this prayer are nullified. Often times we may recite prayers just purely out of habit and do not pay attention to the words, listen to what you pray.


Being humble does not mean to live as a hermit in a cave somewhere and give up all communication with the world, living on hand-outs and the like. it means to live within your means and not seeking after honor and the offerings of this world, but those of heaven. Ask yourself, “do I really need this expensive car, or a new pair of expensive shoes? The list could go on and on. Are these things wants or needs? What we want is not necessarily what we need, especially in God’s eyes. “Seek ye therefore first the Kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Mt. 6:33). Christ also told us, “Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth; where the rust, and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven; where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal” (Mt. 6:19-20). How often have we purchased something just because we wanted it, only to lay it aside, or maybe, we filled our stomachs just a bit too much? We accomplished our goal and displeased God in the process, certainly no humility found here.


“For what always makes humility grow is to have a ‘holy daring,'” (that is, to place all our trust in God), St. Teresa of Jesus.


Listen to what Jesus said to us about the way we should live, “Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than meat; and the body more than raiment?” (Mt. 6:25) In this day and age we place far too much emphasis on ‘things’ -the Play Station with the most elaborate games, the most fashionable clothes, expensive cars or the fastest. No one moves at a slower pace because everything has to be done yesterday and there is no care for the day. Some live days that have to start with a bang and end the same way, always trying to make a name for themselves or to be noticed in some way or another. “Be therefore solicitous for tomorrow; for tomorrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.” (Mt.6:34) Each day brings enough troubles with it, why go headlong into the next without enjoying what God sends for the day. Sure not every day is going to be filled good times, but each day is a blessing and filled with graces that many pass by in their great hurry. Stop and be the creature God created not some made up creature who cares not for the things of God. Practicing humility will help bring a stop to the need or desire to be on the go constantly, searching for different ways to spend money that we really can’t afford to spend, for things that that shall all pass away and have no value.


As St. Teresa of Jesus taught, humility is the key. Take hold of that key and go for a test drive. I bet you’ll buy it!


If you are not willing to be humbled and confounded for your own defects, it is plain that you are not truly humble, nor truly dead to the world, nor the world crucified to you.” -Thomas a Kempis






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