Cultivate Humility if You Really Want to Be a Saint

One of the really cool things about Christianity is that we have a role to play in the salvation of the world. God has special plans for us, unique things he’d like done in the world, and we were tailor-made to do them. In a sense, along with the Saints, we are called to be heroes in the story of salvation.

Being a hero – essentially, being a saint – is tough stuff. It takes the careful, lifelong cultivation of many virtues. However, one virtue is vital to this quest: Humility.

Humility, briefly defined, is truth. The humble man knows and lives by the truth of who God is, who he is, and the relationship between the two. Without God, we are powerless shrimps. With him, we can do all things. By his love and sacrifice, we have been redeemed and are called to be co-heirs to God’s glory.

Humility can, at times, be hard to grow in. Here are a few habits that should help you +1 your humility:

Read The Bible

Psalm 1, verses 1-3 tell us (emphasis added):

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water,
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.

The Bible is a HUGE gift from God. His Word, right there, waiting for you to read it and hear what he wants to tell you through it. Don’t let that Bible sit on the shelf a minute longer. Take it down, and read it every day.

Pray. Every Day.

Your relationship with God is the most important one in your life. Like any other relationship, if you spend time hanging out together, and talk every day, your relationship will grow and flourish. If you neglect the relationship and only get together occasionally, only in groups, or from a distance, it will fade and become a shell of what it should be.

Spend time with God every day in prayer. Give God at least a few minutes every day, and as often as you can (3-5 times a week, at least) sit down for a longer, one-on-one conversation by praying for at least 30 solid minutes.

A prayer journal can help give structure to your prayer.
Check out our article on how to use one. It even includes a journal you can download and print at home.

There are also specific prayers for humilty. Cue the classic, Litany of Humilty. Beware: if you pray this (or in any way ask God to humble you) you will be humbled. Pray at your own risk/benefit.

Fast

Jesus said it himself: the best way to supercharge your prayer is by fasting. (See Mark 9:14-29.) Developing the discipline of fasting, helps you progress in humility two ways.

The first is that the very act of fasting involves saying “no” to yourself, which should help you remember the truth about you, God, and who each of you are. Decided to fast from meat two days a week, but your body really wants that bacon cheeseburger? Sticking to your fast strengthens your self-mastery and reminds you that your body/desires aren’t in control, you are.

The second is that fasting is a great gift to give to God. Fasting is abstaining from something good or neutral in order to offer that sacrifice to God as a gift. Not only do you whip yourself into shape a little, but the very act of you doing it can be offered to God. Sweet.

There are many ways to grow in humility, but hopefully, these few will get you started. Check out Those Catholic Men’s post (link below) for more ideas on becoming the hero God’s calling you to be.

 

The Litany of Humility

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, Jesus. (repeat after each following line)
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. (repeat after each following line)

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…

 

How to Be a Humble HERO in 2017 | Those Catholic Men
How to Use a Prayer Journal (BONUS: Free Printable Journal) | Benevore
The Litany of Humility | EWTN