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Humility and faith

By: Margaret Brown

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A PRIEST of wisdom and experience was speaking to us of humility, a human characteristic not encouraged by the 21st century principle of ‘me first and Devil take the hindmost’.

Modesty and lack of pretension are stumbling blocks to climbing the ladder of success, worthy and hardworking people often pass over when it comes to promotion. To be able to sell ourselves is considered a virtue, achievement at the expense of others may encourage a feeling of pride bordering on arrogance: lesser people fall back and friends fade away. And this is just in the workplace.

Humility is closely associated with the Christian faith: without it the truth about one’s inner self is hard to come by and smothers the promptings of a moral conscience. Only if we recognise our own deficiencies – a humbling experience – can we submit to God. If we cannot accept the presence of a supreme and benevolent authority, where shall we turn when all else fails? When the chips are down and self-sufficiency has proved to be a hollow shell, to have faith, however shaky, is to be able to lay our troubles at the feet of God and ask for help.

That for which we are hoping may take a while, but I believe that every trouble suffered is seen and each prayer is heard by a loving and divine authority. In extremis all that remains is to have a childlike trust in this loving Father whom we can neither see, touch nor hear in the accepted sense.

As St. Paul wrote in One Corinthians chapter 13: “Love never fails,” finally concluding with the wonderful assurance: “So faith, hope and love remain, but the greatest of these is love.”