Once you think you have me, you've lost me. What am I?


A friend posted this on her Facebook page, and it seems too good not to share. Here are some thoughts, then, on humility from the writings of Saint Josemaria Escriva:

The Seventeen Evidences of a Lack of Humility

1. To think that what one says or does is better than what others say or do

2. To always to want to get your own way

3. To argue with stubbornness and bad manners whether you are right or wrong

4. To give your opinion when it has not been requested or when charity does not demand it

5. To look down on another’s point of view

6. Not to look on your gifts and abilities as lent

7. Not to recognize that you are unworthy of all honors and esteem, not even of the earth you walk on and things you possess

8. To use yourself as an example in conversations

9. To speak badly of yourself so that others will think well of you or contradict you

10. To excuse yourself when you are corrected

11. To hide humiliating faults from your spiritual director, so that he will not change the impression he has of you

12. To take pleasure in praise and compliments

13. To be saddened because others are held in higher esteem

14. To refuse to perform inferior tasks

15. To seek to stand out

16. To refer in conversation to your honesty, genius, dexterity, or professional prestige

17. To be ashamed because you lack certain goods

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16 responses to “Once you think you have me, you've lost me. What am I?”

  1. This post reminds me of something that a colleague told me. One of the nuns in the Catholic High School that she attended would always say:

    Before you speak (and, nowadays I suppose she might say, before you post a comment on a blog), ask yourself:

    – Is it True

    – Is it Kind?

    – Is it Necessary?

  2. I thought the introduction to this article interesting, but simultaneously wondered how it fits with my understanding of what humility is (according to St. Thomas, knowledge of one’s deficiency, guiding the appetite). It seems that one can both have the virtue of humility and acknowledge its existence within himself (e.g. Luke 1:48 “He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid”). Perhaps the key word in the riddle is “think”, as opposed to “know”?

  3. Indeed it is! When we included the Litany of Humility for the first time in our prayers during our apostolate prayer meetings, we noticed that while saying the other prayers the volume is quite high and full of intensity, but when it’s time for the litany, the volume became soft as if the members couldn’t believe they are actually praying for such.


    O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
    From the desire of being esteemed,
    Deliver me, Jesus.

    From the desire of being loved…
    From the desire of being extolled …
    From the desire of being honored …
    From the desire of being praised …
    From the desire of being preferred to others…
    From the desire of being consulted …
    From the desire of being approved …
    From the fear of being humiliated …
    From the fear of being despised…
    From the fear of suffering rebukes …
    From the fear of being calumniated …
    From the fear of being forgotten …
    From the fear of being ridiculed …
    From the fear of being wronged …
    From the fear of being suspected …

    That others may be loved more than I,
    Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

    That others may be esteemed more than I …
    That, in the opinion of the world,
    others may increase and I may decrease …
    That others may be chosen and I set aside …
    That others may be praised and I unnoticed …
    That others may be preferred to me in everything…
    That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

  4. I read and pondered the list. I then went to the “About the Deacon” block and was able to read about all the awards he’s won 😉

  5. I hate it when someone posts a blog that seems to apply directly to me.
    It’s a human failing to notice others, compare oneself (or one’s behavior, talents, etc.) and try to think oneself “better”.
    Was it Yogi Bear who said “It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am!”
    O Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner.

  6. The phrases are from his own interior life or from encouracing others. He acknowledged, interiorly struggeled and wrote it down. I would certainly not write it down as far as I already have acknowlegded….. A lot of work needs to be done…

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