How can i gain humility

Without much humility we won't know the way

 

True humility, which is needed for us to accept God’s forgiving saving mercy, is only found by gaining a clear understanding of our great misery (sinfulness) which is obtained by removing our pride. 

This self-knowledge we need helps remove the veil from our eyes (pride) to let in the light of correct knowledge of The Way to Heaven and our true need for God’s mercy into our hearts.\

Without much humility, we live deceived and are clueless to The Way.

“Christ, that Master of humility, manifests His Truth to the humble and hides Himself from the proud.” 

–St. Vincent Ferrer

When we suffer with much pride, even if we want to change, it will be very hard to gain a true/saving humility.

It can be so hard to gain humility, that for those trying to save a soul suffering with such a great condition, it may seem hopeless. Wonderfully, from God’s mercy, nothing is hopeless, but from the very proud’s habitual blinding sins, it will take MUCH GRACE–a true miracle to gain a humility that can accept God’s saving forgiving mercy.

This article isn’t written for those seeking save another’s soul. Please read “How Can I Preach the Truth to Save Souls” to learn how to do that. This article is for us, who want our pride to leave and the light of reality to dwell in our souls…so true humility can be with us.

Kindle the Fire

For us to even have the desire to read this article is a gift from God. Now this spark God has blessed us with, if it is going to grow into an inferno of true faith…driven from fear of the Lord and true humility, needs to be ignited and kindled or we can lose our spark all together and go right back to living life how we were…losing hope for salvation.

The saints have done different things to not only keep their fear of the Lord, but grow it into a great fire of love. And if we want to grow into a saving faith, we will need to pick a way to keep and increase our fear of the Lord too…which is the beginning of our spiritual growth towards the path of Life. 

Fear of the Lord is the “spark,” that realization that we need to change or we are damned. It is a beautiful blessing from God to motivate us to change.

Do What We Don’t Want to Do

When it comes to doing things we don’t want to do, we people tend to be quite selfish and lazy. We will procrastinate or try to get someone else to do the work. Only, if we absolutely have to, if there is no other option, will we do what we don’t want to do.

Yet, this quality must leave, if we want to save our souls. We must do what we don’t want to do…and if we can over come ourselves, we will reach the goal.

This is where the “spark” God gave us comes in. The least bit of fear of the Lord can cause us to gain some humility and seek to grow in true knowledge of ourselves, so to move us into true humility.

But to get to true humility, we must ignite our spark and that comes from doing what we don’t want to do….which is change.

Increase Fear of the Lord

This precious gift God gave us, God doesn’t want us to bury it in the ground and return it to Him just the same and He certainly doesn’t want us to squander it, losing it all. He wants us to take this gift–Fear of the Lord–and see we grow it into a great fear that causes us to grow in faith so wonderfully, we become greatly humble.

Like I said, there are several ways to increase our fear. Here are a few:

  • A fiery preacher, who constantly speaks to us of our misery and moves us to seek to change to be saved through fear of the Lord,
  • Reading one of the saints works, especially “The Way of Salvation and Perfection” by St. Alphonsus,
  • Reading Lifting Our Values book “How to Obtain Perfect Contrition,”
  • Contemplation of God’s perfections and the infinite offence of one sins,
  • Contemplation of God’s love and mercy and how we reject it for sin,
  • Contemplation God’s justice, punishments and our love for sin,
  • Contemplation of eternity.

Alone with an adequate examination of conscience, DAILY we MUST do something to try to increase our fear. 

This isn’t optional. I highly recommend St. Alphonosus’ book, if we can understand it and be moved by it. This book was designed to move us to seek great change and grow our flame from servile fear (fear of suffering in Hell) to finial fear (fear of losing God and offending Him whom we should love with all of our hearts). To learn more please read, “What is Fear of the Lord.”

Truly, the moment we stop thinking our our eternal doom because of our sinfulness, we loose our fear. Then our desire to change doesn’t seem to be something we have to attend to immediately anymore. And we go back to our life of being a selfish sloth all over again. Guaranteed!

Sadly, most of us are only moved into action from fear of punishment or fear somehting bad will occur. Even if there is a storm commng, we will stop what we are doing and work hard to attend to our needs with the storm so great harm won’t befall us. But if the threat subsides, our willingness to work hard…real hard, is gone…and we go into vacation mode.

Come to See Ours Sins

To learn how to become humble we first need to know how dreadfully sinful we are, and how we have incredibly failed to live the Word. If we come to know our sinfulness, we will be able to make a sincere cry to God for help, accept His grace, and be able to remove the things that are increasing our pride/preventing true humility and grow and grow into a saving faith.

Therefore, lets open up our hearts and stop our justifications of our sins (cease to make excuses to hide our sins) and beg the Good Lord to teach us our vast sinfulness. Then come to know how we are rejecting humility for horrid pride, so we can gain the true humility needed to find Salvation.as

Deception

We are an unmistakable misery beyond our understanding, but see our selves in the wrong light. To come to know our sinfulness more clearly and how we have so horribly failed to live truly love God, please read the article “The Lack of True Sorrow for ONE SIN rejects God’s Gift of Eternal Life.”

Even though from understanding our sinfulness we will find the Way to Christ, most don’t want to see ourselves as greatly sinful. As a result, tragically, we spend our lives lying to ourselves so we don’t know our misery. If we do see ourselves as horrible, from most, it’s from low-self esteem, which is actually from deadly pride, not humility.

We have become so good at lying to ourselves (deceiving ourselves) and protecting our pride in order to find happiness and self value that we don’t know how to become humble…nor do most want to…especially since growing in humility hurts.

“The devil’s wiles are many; he would turn hell upside down a thousand times to make us think ourselves better than we are. He has good reason for it, for such fancies are most injurious.” (St. Teresa of Avila).

“Who wants to see themselves as horrible?” we might think. Well, the saints did. They knew they were nothing and didn’t try to become something to build up their pride and simply focused on seeking God’s will, though their nothingness, so God would be everything in them. As a result, God did great marvels through their nothingness. We need to learn how to do the same.

Shrink in Pride – Grow in Humility 

When we correctly pursue God’s grace to obtain humility, God will increase our humility and at the same time we will see a dramatic reduction in our pride. As humility increases, our pride decreases. They work together. We can’t have great pride and great humility. They are opposed to each other. When our pride is reduced our humility is gained.

However, that isn’t the same with self-knowledge. It is true self knowledge is needed to grow in humility, but someone can have bounds of self-knowledge and very little humility. They don’t necessarily work together like pride and humility do, even though much of the time they do. 

For example, I could point out to someone bounds of their sins, and they can become wonderfully enlightened to much of their sinfulness. But they can simply refuse to see their nothingness and still, despite their great crimes committed against God, focus on the few “good” things they believe they have done refusing to understand the miserable sinner they truly are. They still lack humility (have much pride) and don’t really know their need of a Savior.

But for most, if we have great enlightenment to one’s vast sinfulness that comes from God’s grace which was accepted from someone growing in much humility.

Different Areas of Pride

We all suffer from pride. Everyone suffers from practically all of the different kinds of pride I have listed below and even many others, but we all suffer in different degrees varying with each person according to our unique sinfulness. 

If we honestly look into our hearts we will see how we are committing these crimes against God so we can gain some self-knowledge and come to understand what sins we must work on amending. If we don’t think we commit any of the following, then ask God to enlighten us to how we are in fact violating Him in such ways.

How our pride rejects humility:

  • Easily offended at corrections…doesn’t want to see ones sins; rejects enlightenment, wants to live pretending we are something we aren’t,
  • Intolerant of the sins of others…demands respect and easily angered, lacks mercy and forgiveness,
  • Feels boastful at complements from others…looks for happiness with praise,
  • Needs to be the authority…unwilling to learn especially in areas we feel we have knowledge and experience,
  • Doesn’t want to be seen as wrong…has a hard time asking for help or being seen with flaws,
  • Doesn’t want to be seen sinning…defends ones’ sins, needs to be seen as good and righteous,
  • Wants to be talented or successful (for self glory) in work, school, appearance or in talents, etc..,
  • Wants things to go our way…believes our way is the correct way, are inflexible, loves one’s will,
  • Wants to know the affairs of others…needs to be the one with all the info. and friends,
  • Becomes offended when others don’t take our advice…becomes insulted and angered when others don’t agree with us,
  • Looks for the sin in others…judges, condemns and speak’s poorly about others,
  • Lacks love and is intolerant of others who are different from us,
  • Wants to be loved…seeks attention and affection from others,
  • Worries about what others think…is a people pleaser; won’t say or do what God wills from fear of rejection or embarrassment,
  • Wants to be liked by all or at least by the people we care about…can’t be disliked nor not agreed with,
  • Wants the “good life”…seeks indulgences and to be served,
  • Dwells in self pity…looks for consolations from others.

As we can see there are bounds of ways we fill up our pride as we don’t serve and love our neighbor nor God, which pushes away humility, all of which needs to be eradicated. Lets look at these more carefully to get a better understanding of them so we can have a greater hope for seeing our error. For if we can’t see our sinfullness and how we are increasing our pride we won’t grow in humility.

But before I do that, I want to show us the different ways we can grow in humility. Of course removing our prideful actions that I wrote above moves us towards humility but doing the following increases our faith too.

Grow in Humility:

  • Always think of ones self as nothing,
  • Remember we are nothing but servants; focus on loving and serving others…not getting love or being served,
  • Realize we are unworthy of anything…love God for His great mercy and desire nothing but the cross,
  • Understand we can’t do anything…seek God to work perfectly through us,
  • Accept reality…never attempt to make anything appear better or worse than it truly is,
  • If we see someone sinning, in our eyes, know we are worse,
  • Because of our great misery, consider everyone more worthy than us,
  • Be constantly alert to avoid sin…strive, with God’s grace, for perfect obedience to God,
  • Know most our impulses are sinful, don’t respond, be disciplined,
  • Never procrastinate, do the work we hate most when it needs to be done,
  • Do whatever is asked of us when we are asked, unless we know for sure it would lead to sin or is opposed to God’s will,
  • When good works occur, only glance at them for a second to give praise to God, so we don’t begin to delight in ourselves,
  • Avoid people and events that lead to complements (unless we are no longer moved by them),
  • Be friends with the lowly, who need a friend to help them move toward the Light…don’t seek to be friends with the popular or powerful or anyone not striving for sanctity.
  • Speak little, only when needed or questioned…idle chatter is deadly, much sin comes from our mouths,
  • Become detached from others and things…realize we don’t need them, all we need is God,
  • Always seek to help others…realize we are the cross bearers for those who can’t carry them and are in need,
  • Don’t be quick to laugh or overly social, be a person of prayer not seeking attention,
  • Be a perfectly patient servant who wants every cross God allows,
  • Run to do others chores especially the laborious or disgusting ones that we don’t like,
  • Avoid all indulgences, intentionally choose the cross (discomforts), knowing we are worthy of nothing,
  • Look into our conscience to see where we have failed to love…repent and do penance for our sins and the sin of the world,
  • When possible, confess our sins, apologize and make right our wrongs,
  • Rejoice in any suffering and mistreatment of others…from our life of sinfulness, such treatment we deserve, as we carry our cross with Christ for the salvation of souls,
  • Perfectly forgive others…from seeing our great sinfulness, understand their misery…show mercy; truly bless those who curse us and do good to those who mistreat us,
  • Delight in embarrassments and humiliations knowing they lead to true littleness.

These are a few of the wonderful ways, we can fix our hearts on God and grow in our nothingness into a life of great peace and joy with God. But if we try these, but don’t have self-knowledge of our great misery, our efforts won’t grow towards true humility. Therefor we must come to know our sinfulness as without self-knowledge there is no humility.

I understand, for those of us who struggle with low-self esteem (wanting to be someone we aren’t), we would suffer depression greatly, if we knew our sinfulness and truly thought of themselves this way I described above. So after I describe more clearly how to really live this humble life, I will explain how to let go of one’s self and embrace God’s will knowing for certain we are absolutely nothing but a misery and yet, never have a bout of depression again.

First I want to speak about how we boost our pride:

Don’t Want to Be Seen Sinning

We have so many areas in our life that need improvement so we can grow in humility, but tragically we don’t want to see our errors, and from not wanting to appear weak, imperfect or less than another, we don’t want others to see them either. Or we are so worried about what others think about us, and we try to please them hoping to be approved. We have lost focus on who we should be pleasing…God.

To cover our sinfulness, we will come up with bounds of ways to hide our misery. Most teenagers and even adults have various social media accounts, blocking one person and allowing another. Many will have one for the parents and the more pure friends–who they want to pretend like they are decent people with–and another so they can act openly immoral without guilt.

For others, if someone were to correct us or point out our error, we will down right lie about another placing the guilt upon them, create great tails to cover our sin, and become angered at the notion of us being called out as a “sinner”–even if it is a slight offence–all so we don’t have to admit we are guilty and apologize. Our pride is so great, we will bear false witness, making some thing or someone else guilty for our crime and hurt others…all to protect our own ego. 

“For by the grace given to me I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than one ought to think, but to think soberly, each according to the measure of faith that God has apportioned” (Romans 12:3).

But even if we aren’t going to such extremes to appear “good” many don’t realize that we modify our behavior in our everyday life too. Lets say when we are alone and we drive by a beggar, we ignore him, but when we are with someone, we feel guilty for not attending to the beggars needs and being seen as greedy or uncaring, so we give.  How many times are we casual or even rude with our speaking when we are around our family, but we change–not to show respect to others–but so we can be seen a well mannered and good people. Or perhaps we live with our house as a mess and when someone is going to come over, then from our pride, we clean our place up since we want to impress. Oh, I could go on and on but we do very many things to look better than we are from wanting to boost our pride.

If we let go of what others thought and simply focused our time on impressing God, we would easily become saints. But our pride wants us to pretend like we are something we aren’t, coming up with excuses and lies to cover our sins or imperfections, leaving others injured by our actions instead of apologizing and making right our wrongs, all to impress man and not God, because we don’t want to be humble and have others see us as wretched or to be unapproved.

We Covet

We can see our lack of humility when we look at someone, who does something better than us–something that we value or desire–weather it is someone who appears prettier, smarter, more talented, wealthier, holier or more successful at something, etc., from our pride we many feel jealous. If we look into our actions, we can see this reality, as much of the time we put down others who appear better at something than us. We will call them a name, a fraud, insult something about them or even have an overall disliking towards them all to boost our pride. We don’t want to see “good” in them since it hurts our pride.

Some may see another’s blessing and covet (want) our neighbors blessing (or what we think are their blessings) so much that we will spend our time seeking them, not so we can use them for God’s honor and glory, but so we can build up our jealous pride. What race are we running…the one to win the crown of Life or the one to win success in this world?

Some struggle with depression from seeing themselves as a failure in some area of life. We don’t have the peace of the saints from knowing our nothingness…but instead won’t forgive ourselves for our errors or bash ourselves for our failures, none of which comes from humility. That is from deadly pride. The reason many are depressed or struggle with low-self esteem is because we want to see ourselves as something we aren’t. We aren’t content (understanding our limitations) or even honest with who we are.

Boosting Our Pride

Some of us are so used to boosting our pride–thinking it is good–if we hear someone one accepting and acknowledging their weakness, some will actually guide others away from such honesty and tell them to not say such horrible things about themselves, as if having an honest acceptance of one’s imperfections is bad. That is how we begin to change….which surely isn’t bad. Sadly, many don’t want self-knowledge and simply can’t tolerate acknowledging our failures, lack of talents or sins. That depresses many since our pride has us lusting to be someone we aren’t.

When God does give us a gift, talent or blessing, we mostly use that to boost our pride to find self-esteem. This begins in our youth as we struggled to find value with our life. Since most don’t know how to love themselves the way God wants us to, combined with the devil’s temptations, we guide our children into finding value for their selves from their talents. “Oh, you are so smart and pretty” we tell our child. Then, we see a glow of happiness from pride on our child’s face as they feel good about themselves. Well, what happens when the child grows up some and finds out they aren’t “so smart and pretty” after all….well, dissapointment or depression sets in. They were told their “smarts and looks” was what made them good/special and now that reality has hit, they realize they aren’t so smart and pretty after all. So, to try to not live depressed, they run out looking for something to make them happy…and for most it surely isn’t God. Yes, there are a billion lies we all have fallen into believing this, that and the other thing will produce the happiness we are searching for. But they don’t. To learn more on how to stop being depressed with who we are and start thinking of ourselves exactly how God wants us to see ourselves please read, “How to be Happy with all of Our Shortcomings.”

Because of such sinful habitual behaviors of looking for our self-value in our talents, gifts, privileges and blessings, it is extremely hard to gain true knowledge of our sinfulness. After spending our life not knowing how to look into ourselves to know our wrongs–since we don’t really want to see them and want to see ourselves a great or at least good at something–we don’t know most of our crimes against God. We have been building up our self-esteem the wrong way, increasing our pride, which makes humbling ourselves to our true misery very challenging.

Being practically indoctrinated with boosting up ourselves, which hides our imperfections and focuses on our supposed goodness, we can’t see sin anymore. Not that encouraging someone to serve God with the gifts God has given them is bad; we want to do that. But we don’t. We complement others or ourselves so we can make us feel good about ourselves leaving out God altogether.

Sadly, we  have actually made someone lacking outward talents/gifts out to be something of shame….but St. Therese of Lisieux tells us of the great joy it is to be just a little flower…not a fantastic rose but just little. What joy it is to only long to be whatever God wills us to be. If He wants us to have few gifts….great! If He wants us with many…that is great too, but pray and pray a lot if we have many blessings that our pride doesn’t consume us and make us think we have any gift because we are something greater than another. We are not.

God gives all gifts according to His plan for the salvation of souls…not because we are “better” than another. Those talents, which belong to God, are supposed to be used to serve God through loving our neighbor, not to get some award, praise or success (for self-glory or pleasure)….we have been deceived.

Oh, if we could never want to be anything other than what God desires us to be, truly knowing we are just nothing and God is everything, we would be in such peace and achieve perfection like St. Therese was so blessed to achieve.

We Are Nothing

Where do our gifts/blessings come from…God or ourselves? Then, why do we credit and pride ourselves for them? “Oh, but I studied and worked hard to accomplish what I have done” someone might say, as they try to remove credit from God and give credit to themselves to boost their pride. Yes, someone might have worked hard, but who made our brain with the ability to do what we have done?” God or ourselves? Truly everything, even if we have worked to accomplish it, is given to us from God–Our Creator. Sure we can use God’s brain with what every personality, traits and characteristics He allowed to dwell within us and choose to do good or bad with it, but the bottom line is everything is from Our Creator–who made us.

Ask ourselves, “What personal qualities keep us back in life?” Someone might say, “Well, I can’t spell; I have a horrible memory; I’m not creative, I have ADHD and fibromyalgia.” Humm…those aren’t obstacles. Have we been deceived? Those are GIFTS FROM GOD. Truly, no matter what our shortcomings might be, ask ourselves has God made me or anyone with an inferior mind or body as a curse to damn us? Of course not. It most certainly is a blessing IF we trust in God. Now, without trust, those life challenges, can actually become curses that weigh us down, but not for the faithful. For the faithful, they are most wonderful blessings as God’s light cane shine even more beautifully through those who have less, IF we are content with our limitations knowing God truly made us good.

If our pride doesn’t have us wanting to be someone we aren’t, or pretending we have gifts we don’t, then LOVING OUR LITTLENESS is our greatest means to true humility. God can truly work through someone like that. Now that doesn’t mean if we have many talents, we can’t become humble; it is just harder to embrace our littleness since every talent we have, the devil wants for his own and works hard to take them. Sadly, for most he wins and the more talents we have, sadly that means the bigger pride we most likely have.

But that doesn’t mean someone with less talents can’t have a crazy inflated pride just like the talented. Those with less can greatly suffer from coveting (wanting what they don’t have). It is most certainly a reality for many many people. But with the sin of coveting, if we have less talents, it is easier to banish that sin than for someone with much talent suffering from the sin of prideful boasting, because in general, delighting on one’s talents for happiness, is more binding (a greater attachment) than coveting. But with God all things are possible. Run to Him…He wants us saved.

But to get us thinking correctly, never forget underneath all of those talents, we are still nothing but just one wretched sinner just like anyone else. Why do we boast? We are a little speck of dust. We–with many talents or with few–are all the absolute same….true nothingness…just a sinful misery in need of a Savior, who God still loves and wants to uses (with the gifts He has given us) to do His great deeds for the salvation of souls, if we allow Him.

Sadly, delighting on our nothingness…not wanting to be anything and have God being our everything is practically an unknown concept in today’s world. This needs to change if we want humility and salvation.

Great Pride from Great Complements

Now, there is nothing wrong with being happy with our talents and when our works produce success…but lets honestly ask ourselves, “Is that happiness to praise God for working through us as we seek His will or honestly are we looking at our self, delighting in our work for self-glory and complementing our self so we can feel happy through the boosting of our pride? If we look carefully and honestly, we can clearly see, much of the time, if not all of the time, we are happy and even crave happiness from our blessings as a form of self-love, not to love of God.

You see, we are a people that need love to survive. It is a natural requirement for survival. However, the evil one takes what is good and makes it into something quite sinful. If we don’t have a true relationship with God, which delivers all the love we need, we will seek this love somewhere else and that for many is done through the boosting of our pride in many many different ways.

“You are my God. My happiness lies in you alone.” (Psalm 16:2)

  • COMPLEMENTS: Lets say, one day we get a hair cut and someone complements us. The next time we get a hair cut and nobody says anything, that bothers us. We are sad thinking we must not look good. Our delight in vanity consumes us. From our deadly pride, we crave the complements. I could change this complement from hair cut and replace it with practically anything for example: “volunteering at Church,” “completing a task at work,” “buying an new outfit,” “dong something for someone else,” “being more skilled at something than another,” etc. and we  would see the same outcome of disappointment if we aren’t complemented. Giving complements can be good, but much of the time they are only harmful to the person we are complementing. Be careful, use them sparingly and only to encourage, not for pride building or to look like we are a friendly person. We don’t want someone to become addicted to complements from us tempting them.

Craving Attention 

How many of us are searching for someone to make us whole, to talk to us, to make us feel cared for?

We think we want to love others, but our motive for most everything we do is tainted with self-seeking self-love. LOVE: Our craving for love..oh, our pride doesn’t want us to be little and only seek to love God. No, we want love, attention, and affection from others. The bouts of self-pity we will have as we complain about our lack of affection from others is great. This is an area of our pride that has consumed so many, and most are completely blind to it. To have the humility that saves we need to seek to love others and God in every thought, word or action. To see how we are lacking this, we need to ask ourselves, “Is what I desire or am doing to love someone else or myself?” We can see a big “seeking love” problem with the “look at me” mentality we have with our social media, which has gone out of control. If we want to see if our intentions to our actions–so we don’t die blind to our love for sin–then we need to ask ourselves, “why am I posting that pic?” Is it to share my life with another to love them and with the ultimate goal to inspire them to love God? Are we asking for needed prayers or help, not for attention but for seeking true help? Or is what we are do so we can receive the pride boosting comments. Do we want to be seen as fun person, having a good time. Or are we seeking to showoff our talent, looks, privileged or opinion? Perhaps we are seeking self-pity and sympathy? Is everything truly for some kind of attention? Are we really feeding our pride with our actions? To change this, we need to stop and asking ourselves before we do anything, “Am I doing this to truly LOVE GOD through loving another or is all or part to love myself?”Since most don’t know how to love, much of the love we show one another actually leads others into greater pride or seeking the pleasures of the world and not God. It is truly tragic. This topic is so grand, it is so hard to know what is the greatest good and how to love correctly, where someone is in their life. To learn more please read “How Can I Really Love?”

These are just a couple of the vast array of ways we seek to boost our pride. Yet, the truly humble CRAVE NOTHING. They want nothing…just to know, serve and love God. They know who they are…WRETCHED and look for nothing to diminish that reality. They don’t look to hide their sins from others and aren’t embarrassed when someone see’s their misery. They want to be seen in the correct light. The humble don’t boast of their goodness; they know they have none…anything good they do or possess is from God alone. It is His not their own. They boast is of God’s goodness and want all glory to be given to God and none to themselves…and they live in perfect peace as a result of their true love for God.

If we look, we can see we prove very quickly that the things we feel we need to be happy are the fleeting pleasures of the word, because we can experience the hi we feel when we get them and the despair when they leave. We want the complements, the friends, the comfort, the entertainment and when we don’t have any one of them, we are not happy. We have made the world our heart’s desire and are pushing away God as a result.

Don’t Know God

Most love filling our pride to bring us happiness, and as a result we don’t know God. The devil will trick us into thinking we know God form our knowledge of the faith  and love God has given to us, but if we only knew what we were missing, what true knowledge of  God really is, we would stop what we are doing the truly seek Our Lord.

God provides us with a world to use to know, serve and love Him and we get caught up in its pleasures and desire them and not Our Beloved Creator. If we only knew how much we hurt God when we allow our heart to desire the smallest thing that isn’t Him, we would just cry. Tragically, we crush His Tender Heart. And horribly, we long for countless things, just countless thing that simply aren’t Our most Loving Lord because our pride wants them and not God.

False Joy

We have been tricked into thinking true happiness is found in the success of this world, but it isn’t. For some, if we can’t find happiness in our “talents,” friends or success, or some worldly pleasure, we might exaggerate issues or dwell on life’s woes so we can at least have pleasure from the self-pity and the sympathy of others, which is all derived from deadly pride.

If we look at why most of us are happy, we will see our daily happiness and happiest moments are found by some kind of pleasure of the world. Look at our daily happiness. Where does that come from? Does it start with a good cup of morning coffee, pleasant walk outside, satisfying breakfast, and then move to a delicious lunch with friends, next into a successful/easy day at work, and into a relaxing enjoyable night with a fine glass of wine and a soothing restful sleep. Hum…sound nice, well none of that is supposed to be our source of happiness. It can bring us happiness, but it shouldn’t be something we look for. None of that is supposed to be what we long for to satisfy our desire for peace/joy. But sadly it does. Tragically, we don’t long for God, not really. We have to “make” time for Him…if we spend any time with Him at all. We will easily find time for all of the other things we really like, but honestly our hearts don’t long for God, so we spend time with Him either out of habit, obligation, desperation, or we force ourselves, if at all. We don’t seek God nor burn to be with Him and His love, which is truly found through the CROSS. Tragically, we long for the comfort and pleasures of the world MUCH MUCH MORE…not in prayer and the cross of Christ. Actually, most hate the cross and run from it.

We Deserve Nothing
Sadly, we think we deserve all of those lovely things of the world. Ahh but we don’t. We deserve Hell for our sins, not a life of pleasure. We have been deceived. We don’t know our sinfulness nor the consequence of the slightest sin. As a result, we strive for happiness from boosting our pride with countless things because we think we deserve something, when we are nothing but a misery.

The devil deceives us and we say, “Oh the world is good and God wants us happy.” Yes, God wants us happy, but not with the world, which is under the power of the evil one, but happy with HIM. But we can’t find happiness with God…because we have chosen the world instead.

I’m in no way saying we should go around making others lives full of crosses because they deserve it. No, not at all. We, the faithful, should willingly and happily take up the crosses for the weak and carry their burdens to send them wonderful grace so they can convert and one day willingly desire to follow Christ too.

Truly, following Christ is the Way. There is no other path. Jesus chose the cross and denied Himself of the world’s pleasure to love us. He was the embodiment of humility. Therefore, if we want to gain humility look at what Christ did. Even without sin, Christ, who deserved perfect splendor, who had perfect splendor in Heaven, loved us so much, that He left all of that to show us the Way we need to follow to obtain Heaven. He gave us the perfect example of what true humility is…He left all that was pleasant, for a life on earth in suffering for the benefit of us. We are to do the same.

If we knew our sinfulness, the marvel of the cross and understood how little we deserve, we would strive to live a life of penance (like the saints)…not pleasure. Then, from embracing the cross, God would fill us with true joy that lasts…just like the saints, who we are supposed to be following to Christ. But we aren’t.

Gain Correct Help
From the consequence of sin and the suffering it brings upon earth, a lot of people want to change. Some are humble enough to see we have issues. However, we will look and look, but for most it is an endless cycle of gaining some knowledge (or even misguided knowledge) and changing so little…if anything at all. Tragically, we are not growing into the image of Christ. If what we are doing still hasn’t worked in stopping the consequences of sin we have after a life time of effort, why are we continuing to do the same thing…Are we just hoping today will be different. It won’t….it hasn’t. We must see where we are going wrong and LEARN from our mistakes and then do something different that obtains the results we need. But most are so foolish and continue in our same sinful habits day in and day out, having our desire to change be nothing but a mere thought.

The goal in reading any self-improvement material is to find what we are doing wrong so we can improve…we are supposed to look for our “guilt.” But most books help so little, if at all. God’s Word–the ultimate self-improvement Book–is supposed to teach us what to do to gain knowledge of our sinfulness in order to remove the veil from our eyes so we can see and change. It is to get us to turn inward and work or correcting ourselves. Yet, we don’t read the Bible with the right intentions much of the time. The only reason things aren’t going well for us is from our sins. And if we are covering our sins and blind to them, we won’t even see what it is that is hurting out lives.“You have eyes in your minds that are shrouded in darkness because of your sins and evil deeds” St. Theophilus of Antioch declares…”A person’s soul should be clean…hand yourself over to the doctor…who heals and gives life through his Word and wisdom.” 

Eventhough we might “say” with our words we want to change, with sin, much of the time, we don’t really want to see it; we don’t really want to be healed…since we inwardly love the sin. Tragically, we like our sins. We will “say” we hate them, but deep down, we love them. Oh, we can easily see our neighbors seemingly greater sins, but many of us have a really hard time seeing our own sins, even if they are blaring to others, as we declare, “I don’t do that” or “I’m a good guy.” But I tell you, we do…we are wretched. We just don’t see it or don’t want to admit to it.

Shockingly, most sins–to some degree–we have committed. Truly this is the truth. Do you think your neighbor, who you see as such a great sinner has committed bounds more crimes against God than you, well if you could read your soul the way God reads the truth, we would see we are most likely equally as guilty, if not more. Truly, some of us have become so darkened to our great sinfulness, we honestly believe we hardly sin–some even believe we don’t lie–which can’t be further from the truth.

We are real good at telling others what they should be doing, but if we don’t have self-knowledge to know how to fix ourselves, how can we properly guide another. With such blindness, we can’t see correctly to help another from the beam we still have in our own eye. “First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye” (Matthew 7:5). So if we see someone committing some horrendous sin or any sin for that fact and think we are so much better of a person than them, we really need to stop and consider if we commit that same crime just differently. If God were to parallel our crimes to that of a hardened criminal, we very will might be shocked how God views our sinfulness. He doesn’t judge sins as we do…only at face value. No…He looks at the seriousness of sin quite differently. He looks at the gifts He has given us, the grace He has sent us, the calling He expects us to fulfill and all of that weighs into our guilt. Chances are, if we really look into ourselves, we will see much guilt–maybe even greater guilt than those we see as committing graver atrocities than we do. We need to reduce ourselves to where we belong…truly wretched sinners–dust. Yes, we are all but dust. And then, when we stop and look at others and then look deep into ourselves, we will heart of understanding for others sinfulnessnot hold grudges and unforgiveness, but love in return no matter what wrong has been committed like Our Most Merciful Lord does for us.

“You will never have real mercy for the failings of another until you know and realize that you have the same failings in your soul” (St. Bernard of Clairvaux).

We won’t spend our day looking to be treated well, looking for respect or love, looking for a better life, complaining about the injustices against us, being angry about this and that, and frustrated when things don’t go the way we want…living a life of discontent. We will have peace. There is no peace for the proud. The poor proud souls are constantly disgruntled about something or someone, always finding wrong, there is no understanding, no forgiveness. The proud might say we forgive but our hearts are far from being in peace. The proud have no peace. We feel we deserve better. We look for peace in the world, find it for a moment, but have no peace with Christ. Oh, if we only knew what kind of sinner we really are…we would see we deserve nothing no matter how esteemed the position we hold in life is, we would understand we deserve absolutely nothing. After we come to know the real truth about ourselves even more clearly, we will grow in greater gratitude for the forgiveness, love and patience of God. We won’t’ become offended/angry at the seemingly wrong actions of others anymore. We will see we are no better and return the love and patience of God, truly understanding we are all needing mercy. And when we show the understanding and mercy of God, understanding and mercy will be shown to us. Without a doubt, we are no better than the worst of criminal…no better at all. We just can’t see it.

Sadly, some people have programmed ourselves so well to only see ourselves “guilty” if we commit a crime against God in a “big” way…we don’t consider the small infractions and as a result we hardly grow in grace since we are busy thinking of ourselves as “good.” I can’t express how difficult it is to come to know our true self,  even if we think we really want to know ourselves, because deep within ourselves, we really don’t. Oh, uncovering the lie is so challenging. Truly, if we wanted to know, we would see. But, we have been deceived by the evil one and unknowingly pretend to be someone we aren’t because reality hurts. We don’t want to be a sinner; we want to be a success. So we cover our guilt. Tragically, many of us really like our sinfulness and just don’t want to see it to avoid the pain of reality. How horrible it is to learn we love to sin! But this reality we need to humble ourselves and accept, if we ever want to grow in humility and one day sincerely hate all sin and have the true peace of God. Sadly, we cover our sins so well that even if we were to beg God to revile them to us, the honesty in our plea much of the time simply wouldn’t be sincere, and we would just stay the same. Removing the veil is so very hard. But God’s with grace, especially if the sacraments are approached correctly, becomes much easier.

“Can anything humble us before His justice as the enormity of our innumerable offences” (St. Francis de Sales).

We are Great Sinners
Tragically, we have committed practically all of the sins out there to some degree or another. I know that seems utterly ridiculous to some but horribly, for most of us, it is quite true. Perhaps we haven’t directly committed sodomy, murdered anyone, or done any of the other horrific sins, but we really need to think again and see if we are guilty of those crimes indirectly“I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).

“Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators [sexual relations outside of marriage], idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites [people who participate in homosexual or other unnatural sexual acts], thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

For example: Sodomy, as defined in the Word, is unnatural sexual behavior, a sin deserving great punishment in the fires of Hell as God has clearly shown us to from the punishment the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah went through. “Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 7).  St. Paul even states homosexual acts as “shameless acts” in Romans 1:26-32 and in Leviticus 20:13 it states, “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, they have committed an abomination.” Surely, sodomy harms both us and God greatly. However, unnatural sex isn’t only having sexual relations or lust with someone of the same sex, it is much more. We need to learn what that is and that is found by learning what is natural sexual behavior so we can implore God for the grace needed to amend our sinful ways?

Do we know that God gave us our sexual desires not for self-satisfaction purposes but to love our spouse and procreate. That is it. Natural sexual behavior for us humans–with self control and discipline–is supposed to be used to love, not take love…to be pure, not impure. “God did not call us to impurity but to holiness” (1 Thessalonians 4:7). Oh, but the rewards of sexual stimulation are so satisfying, instead of acting as “a lover of goodness, temperate, just, holy, and self-controlled” (Titus 1:8), we crave the pleasure, dump “loving another,” and want to be satisfied. Yet, ALL we do, as the Word says, is suppose to benefit our neighbor (spouse), not ourselves. “Do nothing out of selfishness…each looking out not for his own interests” (Philippians 2:3-4).

How is our sexual life? Is it self-satisfying, perverted and not holy? The Word says, “for those who are self-seeking and who obey not the truth but wickedness, there will be wrath and fury” (Romans 2:8) Do we really believe the Word? If so, we really need to change our intentions for why we do what we do, even in our sexual life…God sees all of our hidden desires. Are we lusting after our spouses? Are we living to sacrifice and serve or are we looking to care for #1 (ourselves)? We are called to love others…not seek to get love. What a challenge…especially if we are married with a constant temptation in front of us. What control and discipline the married man must grow to have! Sure being married can be the greatest good at first like St. Paul says, “if they can’t control themselves, they should get married, because it’s better to marry than to burn with passion” (1 Corinthians 7:9). If one’s sexual desires are so great, and one doesn’t have the grace to control himself, having ones spouse meet their needs is a great blessing since seeking pornography and prostitutes is far worse of a sin than lusting after one’s spouse. But we are supposed to grow from lusting after our spouse into a life of true purity. Sadly, even married men having spouses to help temperate their desires so they can work towards gaining better self control and purity, still don’t seek God’s grace correctly, and resort to great sexual immorality. But like I said, one must grow from even lusting after one’s spouse and obtain God’s grace to lust after nothing if he seeks to Live. Like the saints say, we must loose all sensuality (pursuit of sexual pleasure including sexiness & attractiveness). What a challenge!

“[When] men and women who marry, to form their union…their marriage may be according to the Lord, and not after their own lust. Let all things be done to the honour of God” (St. Ignatius of Antioch).

Truly, if we think seeking sexual gratification is no big deal, please think again. God told us in everything we do, it must be holy. “Be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct” ( 1 Peter 1:15). This is obedience to God. Do we love our sex so much, we are willing to die for all eternity to have a few fleeting moments of pleasure on earth? What are our thoughts during our sexual encounter? Holy? Hummm. Are we full with gratitude for the pleasure God sends us for loving our spouse or are we full of greed wanting better and more satisfaction? How natural or unnatural are we in our sexuality? Are we guilty?

“Be sure of this, that no fornicator [person having sex out side of marriage] or impure person [who participates in watching, wearing, speaking, or doing anything sexualy immoral]…has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Ephesians 5:5).

Before we go pointing the finger at someone else’s sin having no understanding for their weakness, lacking pity for their lack of grace or building up ourselves as we put down others thinking how horrible someone else is for not doing or doing something, we need to think again. Perhaps we look at the poor miserable soul that went out of his mind and slaughtered many for some twisted self satisfaction, thinking he is the worst of all humanity. Well, we need to know somewhat where we stand in God’s eyes before we judge him as so much worse than ourselves. If we think we have never killed anyone and certainly are not some horrific mass murderer, well God might think other wise. Guess who God associates priests who celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass without having a true desire to stop sinning…Jesus Himself, assimilates them to grotesque murders of their wives as God goes into detail of the wives (God’s) hoarddeaths by His beloved priests. Absolutely dreadful!

And how many times have we partaken in receiving Jesus’ actual Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Most Holy Eucharist, without even thinking about stopping many of our sins, without having a true horror for sin (lacking true sorrow) for our terrifying offences against God? How uncaring; how cruel are we to God–our Wonderful Loving Adorable Creator–who is tortured…murdered over and over again by us–by our sins? Do we not think this is real murder? Well, what do you think our Judge thinks? Have we been the mass murderers, who care so little for God, killing Him over and over again, as we mostly seeking to care for ourselves–not even considering what our sins are doing to Our Most Precious Lord as He enters into our dreadful tabernacle of iniquity? The severity of our sins, for the most part, is much graver than we could ever imagine. We are the most miserable of sinners, truly in need of a Savior. We need to obtain true sorrow, from His grace to be saved. Now is the time to repent and CHANGE. Don’t wake up tomorrow and do the same thing you did yesterday…make a plan and begin one by one to amend our ways. Start NOW!

“They [the priests] pierce me with a sharp blade that penetrates the intestines whenever the priest goes to the altar with the knowledge that he has sinned and [supposedly] repented, but yet is firmly resolved to sin again [doesn’t desire to stop sinning]…their will is to sin and to continue in sin until the end…now I will also tell you their judgment and whom they are like. Their judgment is damnation [if we don’t truly repent and change]…they will be damned for all eternity, and not only priests, but also everyone who rejects the commandments of God!” (Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden, Chapter 47).

Fear of the Lord
That quote above from Jesus should bring about some fear…I hope. Can, from what Jesus mentioned above bring about a true thirst for Life….not if we don’t have the grace to hear. But if we do have some grace to hear, the very first thing we need in order to work towards obtaining true humility is the desire to see our sins and the determination to stop committing them out of fear of there consequences. We need to grow in grace so we will burn with desire to seek Life. This web site can teach us some knowledge of the Way, which is great, but it will be found meaningless, if we aren’t truly resolved to change our life out of “fear of the Lord.” For someone to even begin working towards a truly humble contrite heart, we need to gain wisdom from God–fear of the Lord. Without fear of the Lord (wisdom: knowing we must change out of fear of sin and it’s consequences) we simply can’t advance towards Life, and will remain blind. If we don’t fear inflicting injury upon God, and loosing His love because of our sins (finial fear) or at least fear God’s punishments we will have on earth, in Purgatory or in Hell from our sinful choices, there is no possibility of gaining true self-knowledge. This fear must come first. And for most, it is the fear of punishments (servile fear) that truly motivates us to begin to take our sins seriously and want to know them so to stop them.

This generation has sadly become so darkened, very few have the first step toward humility “the beginning of wisdom…fear of the Lord”(Proverbs 9:10) because most presume we are saved from whatever faith we do have; therefore we don’t have a saving faith since we lack a fervent desire to know our sins and true resolve to amend them. Tragically, we don’t really hate our sins nor seek a saving faith. We do’t think we need to and assume we have one.

This beginning of wisdom, for most, servile fear, which is the understanding that there are real earthly and eternal consequences for our sins, like I said, is what initially drives the majority of people to change. Without that fear, we can’t grow into the more perfect, finial fear–fear of loosing and offending God whom we should love, which is the fear we need to accept God’s saving mercy at the moment of our death. But as we know, the real earthly and eternal consequences to sin is the least preached topic because the devil has deceived us so greatly. No body wants to mention what will happen if we don’t obey. The devil has us mute. What we need most to be saved is spoken about the least or not at all. Oh, how the devil has caught us in his web of deception! We must pray, fast and sacrifice. Actually we must pray humbly. Then with courage speak the truth. Nonetheless, we need to learn how to loose self-love (pride) and grow in true love of God and that is done by growing in wisdom (“fear of the Lord”).

“Let us not deceive ourselves. If we have not got humility, we have nothing” (St. Vincent de Paul).

Tragically, we have allowed the devil to strip us of the first step in gaining humility–“fear of the Lord.” As a result most see no desperation to change and sadly don’t even honestly want to stop sinning. We will “say” or “think” we want to know our sins and stop sinning…what person wants to admit they want to continue to sin, but we live deceived and the intentions in our hearts simply aren’t pure, as our constant repeat of sins proves. Those who really hate their sins, fervently seek God’s grace and from their open hearts, receive it and little by little STOP their sins. They simply don’t continue in them day after day, year after year….they change. They are truly GROWING into the likeness of their Creator. Sadly, our claims to not want to sin are proven to be just halfhearted words or thoughts…not driven from a true “fear of the Lord” as our lack of continuous change proves. However, the more pure our desire to stop sinning, the more we grow in true knowledge of our misery and gain great humility. That is why “God Wants You in Heaven” focuses so strongly on obtaining this goal, the desire to “sin no more,” we must have a desire for Heaven from knowing what it takes to get there, because in general, we as a society, have lost all of the steps needed to obtain a saving faith…even the very first one–working to stop our sins–striving to become saints out of “fear of the Lord.”

Like in accord with St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church, who says in his book “The Steps of Humility and Pride” the first step to humility is “fear of God to be constantly on the watch against sin” and the second is “not to love one’s own will.” These two are the staples to humility. Gaining more and more fear of the Lord and a greater and greater disdain for one’s own will, will cause us to grow wonderfully in the other virtues that produce a truly humble contrite heart, which is all accomplished by God’s grace, through gaining true self-knowledge. Then we can take our new humility to God for His endless saving mercy that is waiting for the truly humble contrite of heart, God will console our soul as we trust in Him to bring us to a saving faith.

“When cares increase in my heart [when hatred of my injury I cause You by my sinfulness increase] Your consolation calms my soul” (Psalm 94:19).

How to Change

There are 8 steps:

  1. Admitted we have a problem and can’t over come it alone: “I’m a sinner, someone with great pride, but I can’t see where I’m going wrong and don’t know how to fix it.”
  2. Ask God for help: “I need God to help enlighten and strengthen me.”
  3. Resolved to Change: “From this day forward I will learn and do what is necessary to change.”
  4. Examine our Conscience: “I will thoroughly examine my conscience to see where I have gone wrong.”
  5. Confess our Sins: “I will confess my sins to a priest and someone who can help me change.”
  6. Make a Resolution/Penance: “I will look for ways I can do the opposite of what my problem is to over come it.”
  7. Pray to God, the Saints and Angels for Help: “When I feel weak, I will go to Our Lord and the faithful for help.”
  8. Make Right our Wrongs: “I will humble myself and correct the damage I have made admitting my faults.”

Then repeat…without perseverance.

How to Read the Word with Humility
We have to grow much in humility; therefore lets begin to learn from God’s directions: the Word. To read the Word with the humility needed to learn our sinfulness, we should never read any passage thinking we are innocent of anything. When we read ask God to make us innocent and to teach us how we are failing and show us the Way. We point the finger at nobody but ourselves. For example: If the Word says the Pharisees are guilty of this, that and the other thing. We never think how horrible those Pharisees are for not seeking the truth right before them, etc. and how it is a good thing we don’t do what they do. Looking at anyone’s sin and saying, “it is good I don’t do that” is a boast of blinding pride because, most likely, to some degree we do what they do. The challenge is seeing it. Therefore, we cry out to God when we read a verse in the Word that shows us someone elses guilt and ask God to show us how we commit that same offence…enlighten my eyes to the truth. Or if in the Word is to boasting of God’s mercy on them because of their rightiousness, we never agree we are Then we implore Our Loving Lord to teach us how to stop. We always assume guilt…and never presume innocence. 

The same goes when we are helping others to stop their sins. Immediately after we have seen someone elses guilt or corrected someone else to guide them to the Light, we turn to God asking Him to show us how we are still guilty of that same crime,  so we can continue to repent and work towards truly sinning no more. The devil doesn’t want us to humble ourselves; he wants us to pride ourselves. But we must train our bodies to see our guilt and not be found guilty ourselves after we have taught the Word to others. Then praise God in great thanksgiving for giving us eyes that can see (some of our misery) and have horrible sadness for those who still can’t…knowing we are still quite blind ourselves. Removing all boastful thoughts and only seeing God’s grace at work in us is where true humility is found. We are to never be angry at one another for their sins or any other reason. We have no right, for we a misery ourselves, but are only to show great sadness for their lack of grace. Sure, we, on a rare occasion, can have anger at the sin and have that anger fuel our desire to see that we do something to help end the sin, but we can never have anger at the sinner only love and understanding. We very well might be a greater sinner in the eyes of the Lord and surely we want His understanding and love. Therefore we must forgive. Sadly, so many simply can’t see their sinfulness nor understand the consequences of their actions; if they did surely they would stop. Horribly, they are missing God’s wonderful help that is waiting for them. How sad! But for those who can see, after much persistence seeking grace after grace and working diligently to stop our sins, the severity of our sins will deplete, and we will grow and grow in God’s wonderful image. We will begin to act more and more like Christ. And then, only after much work with God, from true humility, through God’s most transforming grace, will our sins truly leave.

Crushed Heart
Our heart is a muscle physically and metaphorically. It is tough and needs to be soften–humbled. How do we soften a hard tough piece of meat? We tenderize it; we pound it; we crush it. If we are asking God to make us humble, we are asking God to crush our heart. And He will send us people and events to do just that. Don’t think we are going to be without much pain (without the cross) and some how grow in true humility. Loosing our pride is very painful. If you think you are humble but don’t have a crushed heart….your thoughts of humility are a deception from the devil. We must be crushed. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, [He] saves those whose spirit [pride] is crushed” (Psalm 34:19). We must be crushed of our pride, become poor in spirit (little in pride) and become utterly nothing so our hearts can finally be a soft mold-able piece of flesh that God’s grace can transform with His love. It is that wicked pride that stiffens us up and makes us unchangeable.

You might ask, “How many times must we be crushed, to be softened in order to obtain true humility?” You might be surprised but the answer is constantly. Yes, our goal is to be constantly in the state of mortification of our sinfulness…The goal is to live in constant great sorrow for our sins and at the same time live in wonderful happiness and peace being surrounded by God’s love (mercy). It is quite a marvel, quite the mystery. It is just like how the saints, while being tortured, suffering the most horrific pain would declare they have never had so much joy and love for God in their life. Their pain was drowned away by God’s love and with our crushed spirit it is consoled perfectly by God’s endless mercy. Unless you have experienced God’s grace in this way, I’m not sure there are words to adequately describe this marvel of God’s love that He sends to us. But this is what we should hope and strive for.

Sadly, most of us haven’t yet to be crushed at all. Tragically, we have never had a crushed heart over our sins, never mind a continuous contrite heart. We might feel bad sometimes, but we are far from “crushed” that we have offended Our Lord and Creator. Oh, we will know it when we happens, at least when God allows us to feel much pain. Of course we won’t be even sure then, if our sorrow is true, since we can’t read our souls, but when we are crushed, we will feel pain similar to the other moments in our life when our hearts were greatly wounded. How could we not…if we are truly devastated by our sinfulness. If we take our crushed heart and run to God for His mercy…God will send His love to surround our hearts healing them of their misery. Perhaps God will even allow us to “experience” His unfathomable love…but nonetheless whether we “feel” God’s love or not, we need to know God is “healing the brokenhearted” (Psalm 147:3). Just beautiful!

How frequently we are crushed depends upon us and our openness to conversion (grace). Some of us are very proud people and need to undergo incredible suffering to see our need to stop sinning. Others will only need a few words to move us, but from our lack of faith, we won’t continue to peruse growing and changing after temptation comes and will be right back to our sinful lukewarm ways again. Many of us need constant motivation, from our little roots or we are lost too. However, after God’s continuous pursuit of us, we might be one of the blessed and finally see the real need to change and are finally motivated to continuously do what is necessary to follow Christ. As we know, for many of us, it isn’t until we have suffered greatly because we didn’t heed to God’s earlier calls that we finally relented our will and sought to change and follow His. However, many don’t receive as many so chances (calls). We should be so utterly grateful if we do…It is just terrible how many people simply don’t know our constant rejection of amending our ways can spurn God so greatly, from divine justice, “it is your sins that make him hide his face” (Isaiah 59:2) and we are left without any more calls nor guidance to the Light. How tragic!

If we want to obtain a true humility, we need to be in great pursuit of the crown of Life–seeking to one day love God perfectly. And when we do this correctly we will begin to be crushed at our sinfulness. As our understanding of our misery and consequence of sin grows we will be crushed multiple times a day, hoping to someday to be constantly mortified. So don’t cringe in embarrassment and run to hide from the person we offend when we sin or justify our wrongs and make them out as no big deal, but allow ourselves to be crushed, apologize (if appropriate), make right our wrongs, and humble ourselves before God and others. Let others see our weakness, so they know we are sinners, who are deeply sorry and striving to change. That is humility. Strive to become little. This is especially important with people in leadership positions since the devil has tricked many into feeling they need to be seen as infallible to hold their positions. Frankly, if you want to convert souls, there is no greater way than having someone watch the leader actually live the Word…for them who guide us to use themselves and their weakness to help others and are willing to admit their guilt (practice humility) and work towards changing without being forced by being caught. Outside of the sacrament of reconciliation there is no greater way to grow in humility than to admit one’s guilt to each other, not looking for approval from the one we offend or did wrong to, but to show our sorrow, imperfections, and to make amends if necessary. That is how we remove pride from ourselves and grow in true humility–we apologize and make right our wrongs.

“Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed [of your pride and sinful ways]” (James 5:16).

If someone is really open to God’s grace, they can gain true humility perhaps not constantly but maybe during confession or before receiving Holy Communion. To convert into a true continuous humility, for most, it takes years and is a daily struggle against the devil to obtain the new heart God promises. Yes, to be constantly crushed in our heart…over our great sinfulness is a most wonderful gift and most certainly leads to perfection, but it takes much work.

“I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. I will remove the heart of stone [pride] from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh [love]” (Ezekiel 36:26).

We can easily see in our everyday life many different ways we are “crushed.” Sadly, most don’t use those humbling moments to grow in humility but actually use them to grow in even greater pride (as we cover our sins) or we loose hope and sink in depression from not turning to God for His love (which is a different form of pride). When I think of someone’s heart being crushed, I initially think of a boy’s heart being crushed by the insensitive girl who mercilessly rejects him. How many boys won’t even risk pain to their hearts, if rejection might occur, and choose to protect their hearts and not even talk to or ask out a girl because of the great fear of injury. This is the exact pain we will feel when we have finally been crushed by our sinfulness towards God and feel truly remorseful for our offence to Him.

Many protect their hearts from this injury at all cost. They don’t want to feel this kind of pain. Yes, rejection certainly crushes our pride and hurts greatly, which from God’s grace can be transformed into much good. Or we can choose the wrong path and rejection can turn into something bad depending on what we choose. Oh, the heart “who can understand it” (Jeremiah 17:9). “What is humility of the heart?” as St. Peter Julian Eymard teaches, “it consists in receiving humiliations from God with a submissive love.”

But we don’t want our humiliations. Truly many, would be more willing to be beaten than to have our hearts squished. How many people have lost all hope over injury to their hearts…not from a physical beating but from an emotional one? Many don’t take God’s wonderful path of humility, rejoicing in the cross uniting with Christ’s rejection and becoming little, allowing God and His love to be our everything, but rather the devil gets them and they choose the wrong path and fall into despair. This heart of ours, that hurts so easily, we must willingly allow to be injured over and over again so we can learn God’s blessed ways. Sounds horrible, but it is true. This is how we grow in humility: knowledge of our misery (truly knowing our great sinfulness) and coming to know our real need for God’s mercy and how little we really are. If we want to become little, so God can be everything, we must be squished. So don’t run from humiliations and injury to our heart, embrace them as God’s heavenly will.

“That man is truly humble who converts humiliation into humility” (St. Bernard of Clairvaux).

Following God’s Will
God allows our hearts to be crushed in order to soften them in two ways: by following His will and by coming to know our sinfulness and its all done through the cross (suffering). “For he wounds, but he binds up; he strikes, but his hands give healing” (Job 5:18). This is needed to tenderize our hard hearts of stone and heal them with God’s love. If we want to grow in humility we must honestly look into our crushed broken hearts to see where we need to change. Then in our brokenness turn to God for His loving, healing grace to amend our broken hearts and fill them with His true love.

To obey God and follow Him, much of the time it involves much suffering and rejection. And that is good. Like I said, God is using that pain to humble us. So if God wants us to speak with someone you know lacks love and will only hurt you, obey Him. Praise God for the cross. Don’t run from it. Oh, how we are naturally inclined to run from all who cause us pain, especially if it is to our hearts, since it hurts so much. That is where the real transformation is found. We give, we love, we care, we sacrifice for others and some times we are misunderstood and/or intentionally ignored, rejected and maybe even mocked in return. Oh, the sting…we cry. Yet, we are suffering just like Jesus. Just look at the perfect love He gave and still gives, and the malice He received and still receives in return for His perfect love. How can we really follow Christ and really obey Him, if we don’t want His cross? We can’t. Please don’t only love, when we are loved in return, that isn’t truly loving; we won’t find humility or Jesus that way. We must let go of the desire to be loved in return, and love for the sake of Love (God), who dwells in each person, especially those who cause us much pain.

Another way to crush our spirit and grow in humility is like St. Bernard said, letting go of our will. Those suffering from much pride want to do what they want and want others to do what they want. Therefore, if someone asks us to do something, no matter what it is, unless it is truly impossible or sinful, do it. Stop seeking what we want, be inconvenienced, work tired, be discomforted, change our plans, do something we don’t like, be embarrassed, do something we think we can’t…simply, don’t make excuses, ask God for help, let go of our will and follow God’s. Don’t think God doesn’t want us to do what is asked of us; if we have much pride, we won’t be able to know God’s wills from our condition, therefore just do what is asked of us. Assume it is God’s will and say “yes, Lord.” Please remember God uses the people around us to help us crush our spirit. We need to remove our fear, laziness and control and just trust. Therefore, let go of our will and serve others. Follow St. Paul who said, “I have made myself a slave to all” (1 Corinthians 9:19). God had that person ask something of us not for us to reject them, but for us to grow in humility and say “yes…not my will.” Even if it is a waste of our time, just do it. God will make a way for it to happen and make it good…look, learn and grow.

“Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).

If we find we aren’t strong enough to respond with a “yes” on the spot when someone asks us to do something, and our habitual unloving “no” comes out instead, not to worry. God can soften our selfishness. If our self-serving attitude naturally takes over because we lack much grace, then we need to go to God to gain more grace and discipline to respond with a “sure no problem” the next time someone asks us for help. To do this we need to do the following:

  • First: recognize our unwillingness to serve others outside of our comfort zone.
  • Second: hate our sin, repent and seek to change.
  • Third: make a resolution: come up with a real plan and words to say the next time someone asks us of something we don’t want to do.
  • Forth: perform a penance–a real penance that will help us obtain the discipline needed, hatred of our will and love for the cross.

This penance we need to do can be really great and provide us with the real growth we need. Never neglect it. Our penance–our practice of humility–should make right our wrongs (if possible) and be something we impose upon ourselves, if the priest in confession didn’t give us an adequate one, catered to our particular sin. It should be the exact opposite of our problem. Lets say, we don’t like to do things outside to where we could become too hot or too cold because we don’t want to be discomforted and reject serving others because of that. Then our penance should be doing chores, not what is asked of us–but elected chores (picking the least enjoyable one)–outside during the most uncomfortable time of day so we can have a real cross to carry. It should be a true cross that we choose and offer up for the salvation of souls. This is how we will learn to love God and the cross He chose to carry for us, which will help us learn how to follow Him and grow in wonderful humility too.

“There is more value in a little study of humility and in a single act of it than in all the knowledge in the world” (St. Teresa of Avila).

Protect Our Pride
How many times have our hearts been crushed when we thought someone liked (loved) us or cared about us, when they seemingly didn’t, or we thought someone understood, when they only misunderstood and didn’t seem to get us at all, etc. Oh, how many misunderstanding have led our hearts into injury. Some of the times our crushed heart is a result of the unloving or neglectful actions of another or from the over expectations we place upon another or from a little of both…perhaps even from our miss or rash judgement of another is the reason for our pain. Nonetheless, since we are beings made from love, we desire to be loved and when we aren’t loved, we are hurt and sometimes a lot. The more we love another or desire the love and approval of another, the greater the sting of their rejection or malice feels. King David was clear to explain his crushed heart, from a trusted friend who rejected him. His pain he simply couldn’t bear. (cf. Psalm   ). Imagine the pain which is inflicted upon God’s Sacred Heart, who loves us perfectly. Yet, day in and day out from our constant rejection of His love (grace), we hurt Him beyond our comprehension. And yet, when the smallest possibility arises that we might suffer like Christ and our hearts might become injured in the slightest way, we tuck our tail between our legs and run the other way. We don’t want the cross of Christ. We want to protect our pride instead.

Yet much of the time our crushed heart isn’t the result of not being loved in returned, it is from our “pride”  being crushed. Our pride is so great much of the time, we don’t even see the countless ways we seek to protect it and refuse to take a leap of courage to serve God and allow God if He wills, to have our hearts crushed so to grow in humility. We simply don’t want the pain and run from serving God in many ways because of it. We shudder at the thought of speaking to someone who is harsh and easily angered or doesn’t like us. We don’t pray for courage and do what is necessary to serve God rejoicing in the cross…no, if there is a way out, we take it. We are missing God’s wonderful gifts of gaining humility through the cross by having our hearts crushed.

Most are drowned in so much pride, and from being so successful at covering our sins, we are simply clueless of its great existence. Oh, we protect our pride and protect it, like I said, not just with avoiding any situation that could lead to pain (a crushed heart), but we prove it with our denial of our weaknesses too. We desire to be seen as good, pretty, all together, smart, successful, popular, etc. And we will do anything to avoid being seen otherwise. We will even lie to cover the truth of our imperfections, all to build up our pride (image). We won’t tolerate misunderstanding and being seen a guilty of something we didn’t do or less than who we feel we are. If such wrongful accusations are made, we run in and defend ourselves to prove we are right so our image isn’t tainted and we are seen for who we wish to declare ourselves to be.  Or we will back down and let someone bash us, not because we are fine with being squished by another, but because we don’t feel we are capable of properly defending ourselves and want to avoid even greater humiliations. Oh, but humiliations are our path to nothingness. In weakness, He is strong in us.

“Therefore, to keep me from being too elated [boastful], a thorn [humiliation] was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness [humiliations].” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9)

Sadly, we tend to love our power and image so much we won’t even allow ourselves to be in a compromising position to where our great intelligence and/or authority would be diminished. We don’t want to fail or be seen as broken or imperfect. We desire to be known as one with much knowledge, wisdom and faith, etc. and if we are in a group of people or around someone of seemingly greater knowledge, wisdom or faith, we won’t even risk answering a question, if asked, if we think we could be wrong so as to not be seen as unknowledgeable or less than them. We avoid embarrassment at all costs. And if we do think we are right, and are willing to answer a question not to love and participate in the group, we do it to prove our intellect and boost our confidence–from our pride–and then if we find out we are actually wrong, we are mortified that we errored and utterly embarrassed at our weakness. We surely don’t rejoice in our humbling experience but lean towards depression and not humility. Much of the time we won’t even admit our mistake and will continue to allow others to suffer (believe a wrongful truth) from our errors unless we are caught or forced to admit our mistake. We would rather others suffer than admit we are someone who errors. We greatly lack love and humility. Truly, we don’t want to be humbled; we don’t look of our errors and ways to apologize. We want to be flawless. It is as if we are allergic to apologizing or we only apologize from habit not true humility. There are just so many ways we protect our pride.

“The heart is devious above all else; it is perverse—who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

Impressing the Wrong God
Sadly, we are all into impressing the wrong god: others–to boost or keep our pride. But like with many of our sins, we don’t see it or find it acceptable behavior. We love our image, and we protect it as we try to impress and please others. Sadly, we are more focused on what man thinks of us than God in many aspects of our life. All we have to do is look and we can clearly see what are our intentions are for many of our actions. For instance, if we have company coming over, we run to clean up our house. We want to be seen as neat and tidy to others, but most are not working to improve and are OK if God knows we are living in a disorganized unclean mess. Most aren’t cleaning just to show love and respect to our valued guest, wanting to give them the best out of love…no, if we check our intentions for why we do what we do, we will see it is mostly so we won’t be embarrassed and have our “image” tainted by our less than perfect house. Here is another example: just say, we have to socialize with someone of high intellect and from our pride we feel inferior. We will either refuse to speak to them or feel the need to speak impressively, and we won’t even act like ourselves because we don’t want to be seen a less than them. We love our image and are willing to put on a front or not even be kind and respectful to that person all to keep our pride intact. We don’t want to become humbled. How many times has God asked us to serve Him, and we refuse because we don’t want to be seen as “uncool” or “unpopular.” Speak up in defense of the faith at work…can’t do that; what would my colleges think? Put a pro-life sign on my car…can’t do that, what would my neighbors think?…my car would look so uncool, can’t have my image tainted. As if saving lives isn’t worth tainting our “cool” image a little…see what the devil does, he distorts our priorities and makes our image–our pride–number one and keeps us far, very far from living for God alone.

If we sin and someone else sees us or corrects us, most of us are humiliated to be caught and appalled if someone speaks up about our wrong doing. Then much of the time we do all we can to defend our sin or come up with some excuse to try to justify it and perhaps we might even manipulate reality in our minds so we aren’t guilty or make it no big deal so as to feel no guilt, and won’t feel like or be seen as a wretched sinner. But we are. Have we not read the saints works? They rejoiced in having others see them as sinners so they wouldn’t become swelled in pride. They praised God for every opportunity to grow in humility. We need to look carefully into our actions so we don’t spend our day trying to impress the wrong god, leaving the one true God very disappointed in us.

Heart Crushed by Coming to Know Our True Sinfulness
If we are serious and truly want to grow in humility, we need to HONESTLY look into ourselves to come to know our misery. God will not reveal too much to us at once, as we simply can’t handle our true sinfulness. However, if we repeat this process over and over again (looking into our true intentions for what we do), imploring God’s grace in the sacraments (penance and if we truly want to sin no more, then the Holy Eucharist) for the strength to know and stop our sins, God will slowly enlighten us to the sinfulness within and give us the power to stop. I’m only going to bring to light some of our prideful ways…not every possible sin we could have ever committed, so we can at least see how grossly prideful we really are and not run around thinking we are humble, when we aren’t.

“We must never glance at what is good in ourselves, much less ponder over it, but we should search out what is wrong and what is lacking. This is an excellent way of remaining humble (St. Vincent de Paul).

To do this well, we should see how we are guilty for pretty much ALL of the prideful actions I am listing below to some degree at some point in our life–maybe even today. Truly we all commit them. The reason we don’t have humility is because we only see a very small handful of our sins which causes us to think of ourselves are “holy” or a good guy when in God’s eyes we are very far from it. If you find yourself saying, “I don’t do that” to pretty much any sin, then you still most likely don’t know how to look into your true actions and intentions to see how you do commit it. To some degree, we are guilty of practically every sin that falls under the 10 commandments. Yes, believe it or not, practically all of the sin, we have or are committing. Very few have been blessed with such magnificent grace to avoid breaking any of the commandments and because we don’t “see” our error or really understand what sin is or its consequences we lack humility, which leads to a lack of sorrow for them since we have been covering our guilt our entire life. We think our sins are not a real problem because they don’t seem serious.

And that is OK, at first. Just work on changing the sins you can see. However, the goal is to eventually find guilt, to some degree, with literally every one of these sins, because I promise you, if you are human, you have committed them if not today at some point in your life. Unless you have already been diligently working with God’s grace to abolish your prideful ways, because only then will God’s transforming mercy have removed some of you pride fullness in life, you will still frequently be commiting these sin.

I know the fact that we all sin these horrid sins, might be shocking to some, especially if we have been living deceived and thinking we hardly sin. But truly everyone, who is a mature adult, in some way has committed these sins and believe it or not some of them everyday, and some of them once in a while. But tragically we offend God and others by many crimes. If we don’t see them, we just aren’t enlightened to them yet.

Now the hard part is learning how to look into our thoughts, words and actions to actually see where we are committing such injuries to God and harming others, so we can have the hope to stop or at least gain humility. Those with greater pride issues will have a more serious problems with there prideful choices than others, but it really doesn’t matter to God how deeply engrossed in pride we are, as longs as we honestly want to stop our sinful ways, God is delighted with us and will send us the grace to change. We will grow in humility if we want too.

To come to know our prideful ways, I have written some prideful things we commonly do and some resolutions that can help us, along with God’s grace, to over come them:

Prideful ActionsResolutions/Solutions
Arrogant: Not open to advice from others, on certain subjects, especially from those “under” us. We want to be the one with the knowledge, because we have experience, education or just think we know better, etc.Find a child, an under educated person less than us or perhaps a homeless person…find someone who is well “beneath” us as far as status in society goes. Then love them, help them, do something they want and pray to God to teach you through them. Humble yourself seeking to learn. Ask them questions truly imploring God to learn through the least of His people, and I promise God will teach and teach you a lot. Your heart won’t be closed to God working through the unexpected any more. God will teach you how to always be the student even if you are literally the teacher. Surely you won’t think you are the only one with the knowledge any more or become closed or insulted when guidance is given from one of the least among us. And if we look for God to teach us through each situation, we will learn His blessed ways from everyone and every moment.
Jealous: Not happy for others accomplishments above ourselves. If someone else obtains the raise at work, or someone else does a better job at what we thought were gifted at, we are jealous instead of happy for their good work and praising God for them.Find
conclusion

I do want to mention that being humble doesn’t mean we lie to ourselves and give ourselves less gifts and talents than God has given us so we can seem to be nothing (having no talent). Being humble doesn’t in any way mean we are skill-less or skill-full. Gifts from God has nothing to do with humility. Becoming nothing, in no way means we have no abilities or no authority over others or lack accomplishments or knowledge, as God calls us to different jobs and gives us different abilities to serve Him. Being humble simply means we know of our great sinfulness and that leads us to truly understanding the great need for God’s mercy, while we give all praise and glory to God for any talents or even lack of talents we have knowing all we have and don’t have are gifts from God to use to serve Him for the salvation of souls. This understanding of our sinfulness leads us to feel absolutely unworthy for any blessing we have, and the greater the understand of our sinfulness develops, the more wretched we feel causing us to more fully understand God and His great patience, tolerance and love for us. We might actually, in God’s eyes, be more “holy” than  another but from this greater understanding of our misery, we only feel like the absolute least of God’s people, and more fully understand that without God moving our hand, nothing truly good can be accomplished through us…that on our own we are utterly nothing. This does not lead to depression but to a most perfect peaceful trust in God’s mercy to save.

Transformation through Confession

“One of the very best means of obtaining humility, is sincere and frequent confessions” (St. Philip Neri)

Frequent, sincere confession opens up the soul to everything it needs to honestly declare to God as St. Vincent Ferrer says, “Lord, my God, I am nothing, I am capable of myself of nothing but evil; I have never served Thee as I ought, and I confess that I am but an unprofitable servant.” That is the true humility we need to find a saving faith. And the blessed sacrament of reconciliation will bring us there.

more coming soon

[whohit]-How can I learn the sins I desire-[/whohit]True humility, which is needed for us to accept God’s forgiving saving mercy, is only found by gaining a clear understanding of our great misery (sinfulness) which is obtained from removing our pride. 

This self-knowledge we need helps remove the veil from our eyes (pride) to let in the light of correct knowledge of the Way to Heaven and the true need for God’s mercy into our hearts. Without much humility, we live deceived and are clueless to the Way.

“Christ, that Master of humility, manifests His Truth only to the humble and hides Himself from the proud.” 

–St. Vincent Ferrer

To learn how to become humble we first need to know how dreadfully sinful we are, and how we have incredibly failed to live the Word. Then we must learn how we are filling our pride. If we come to know our sinfulness, we will be able to make a sincere cry to God for help, accept His grace, and be able to remove the things that are increasing our pride/preventing true humility and grow and grow into a saving faith. 

Therefore, lets open up our hearts and stop our justifications of our sins (cease to make excuses to hide our sins) and beg the Good Lord to teach us our vast sinfulness. Then come to know how we are rejecting humility for horrid pride, so we can gain the true humility needed to find Salvation.

Deception

We are an unmistakable misery beyond our understanding, but see our selves in the wrong light. To come to know our sinfulness more clearly and how we have so horribly failed to live truly love God, please read the article “The Lack of True Sorrow for ONE SIN rejects God’s Gift of Eternal Life.”

Even though from understanding our sinfulness we will find the Way to Christ, most don’t want to see ourselves as greatly sinful. As a result, tragically, we spend our lives lying to ourselves so we don’t know our misery. If we do see ourselves as horrible, from most, it’s from low-self esteem, which is actually from deadly pride, not humility.

We have become so good at lying to ourselves (deceiving ourselves) and protecting our pride in order to find happiness and self value that we don’t know how to become humble…nor do most want to…especially since growing in humility hurts.

“The devil’s wiles are many; he would turn hell upside down a thousand times to make us think ourselves better than we are. He has good reason for it, for such fancies are most injurious.” (St. Teresa of Avila).

“Who wants to see themselves as horrible?” we might think. Well, the saints did. They knew they were nothing and didn’t try to become something to build up their pride and simply focused on seeking God’s will, though their nothingness, so God would be everything in them. As a result, God did great marvels through their nothingness. We need to learn how to do the same.

Shrink in Pride – Grow in Humility

When we correctly pursue God’s grace to obtain humility, God will increase our humility and at the same time we will see a dramatic reduction in our pride. As humility increases, our pride decreases. They work together. We can’t have great pride and great humility. They are opposed to each other. When our pride is reduced our humility is gained.

However, that isn’t the same with self-knowledge. It is true self knowledge is needed to grow in humility, but someone can have bounds of self-knowledge and very little humility. They don’t necessarily work together like pride and humility do, even though much of the time they do. 

For example, I could point out to someone bounds of their sins, and they can become wonderfully enlightened to much of their sinfulness. But they can simply refuse to see their nothingness and still, despite their great crimes committed against God, focus on the few “good” things they believe they have done refusing to understand the miserable sinner they truly are. They still lack humility (have much pride) and don’t really know their need of a Savior.

But for most, if we have great enlightenment to one’s vast sinfulness that comes from God’s grace which was accepted from someone growing in much humility.

Different Areas of Pride 

We all suffer from pride. Everyone suffers from practically all of the different kinds of pride I have listed below and even many others, but we all suffer in different degrees varying with each person according to our unique sinfulness. 

If we honestly look into our hearts we will see how we are committing these crimes against God so we can gain some self-knowledge and come to understand what sins we must work on amending. If we don’t think we commit any of the following, then ask God to enlighten us to how we are in fact violating Him in such ways.

How our pride rejects humility:

  • Easily offended at corrections…doesn’t want to see ones sins; rejects enlightenment, wants to live pretending we are something we aren’t,
  • Intolerant of the sins of others…demands respect and easily angered, lacks mercy and forgiveness,
  • Feels boastful at complements from others…looks for happiness with praise,
  • Needs to be the authority…unwilling to learn especially in areas we feel we have knowledge and experience,
  • Doesn’t want to be seen as wrong…has a hard time asking for help or being seen with flaws,
  • Doesn’t want to be seen sinning…defends ones’ sins, needs to be seen as good and righteous,
  • Wants to be talented or successful (for self glory) in work, school, appearance or in talents, etc..,
  • Wants things to go our way…believes our way is the correct way, are inflexible, loves one’s will,
  • Wants to know the affairs of others…needs to be the one with all the info. and friends,
  • Becomes offended when others don’t take our advice…becomes insulted and angered when others don’t agree with us,
  • Looks for the sin in others…judges, condemns and speak’s poorly about others,
  • Lacks love and is intolerant of others who are different from us,
  • Wants to be loved…seeks attention and affection from others,
  • Worries about what others think…is a people pleaser; won’t say or do what God wills from fear of rejection or embarrassment,
  • Wants to be liked by all or at least by the people we care about…can’t be disliked nor not agreed with,
  • Wants the “good life”…seeks indulgences and to be served,
  • Dwells in self pity…looks for consolations from others.

As we can see there are bounds of ways we fill up our pride as we don’t serve and love our neighbor nor God, which pushes away humility, all of which needs to be eradicated. Lets look at these more carefully to get a better understanding of them so we can have a greater hope for seeing our error. For if we can’t see our sinfullness and how we are increasing our pride we won’t grow in humility.

But before I do that, I want to show us the different ways we can grow in humility. Of course removing our prideful actions that I wrote above moves us towards humility but doing the following increases our faith too.

Grow in Humility:

  • Always think of ones self as nothing,
  • Remember we are nothing but servants; focus on loving and serving others…not getting love or being served,
  • Realize we are unworthy of anything…love God for His great mercy and desire nothing but the cross,
  • Understand we can’t do anything…seek God to work perfectly through us,
  • Accept reality…never attempt to make anything appear better or worse than it truly is,
  • If we see someone sinning, in our eyes, know we are worse,
  • Because of our great misery, consider everyone more worthy than us,
  • Be constantly alert to avoid sin…strive, with God’s grace, for perfect obedience to God,
  • Know most our impulses are sinful, don’t respond, be disciplined,
  • Never procrastinate, do the work we hate most when it needs to be done,
  • Do whatever is asked of us when we are asked, unless we know for sure it would lead to sin or is opposed to God’s will,
  • When good works occur, only glance at them for a second to give praise to God, so we don’t begin to delight in ourselves,
  • Avoid people and events that lead to complements (unless we are no longer moved by them),
  • Be friends with the lowly, who need a friend to help them move toward the Light…don’t seek to be friends with the popular or powerful or anyone not striving for sanctity.
  • Speak little, only when needed or questioned…idle chatter is deadly, much sin comes from our mouths,
  • Become detached from others and things…realize we don’t need them, all we need is God,
  • Always seek to help others…realize we are the cross bearers for those who can’t carry them and are in need,
  • Don’t be quick to laugh or overly social, be a person of prayer not seeking attention,
  • Be a perfectly patient servant who wants every cross God allows,
  • Run to do others chores especially the laborious or disgusting ones that we don’t like,
  • Avoid all indulgences, intentionally choose the cross (discomforts), knowing we are worthy of nothing,
  • Look into our conscience to see where we have failed to love…repent and do penance for our sins and the sin of the world,
  • When possible, confess our sins, apologize and make right our wrongs,
  • Rejoice in any suffering and mistreatment of others…from our life of sinfulness, such treatment we deserve, as we carry our cross with Christ for the salvation of souls,
  • Perfectly forgive others…from seeing our great sinfulness, understand their misery…show mercy; truly bless those who curse us and do good to those who mistreat us,
  • Delight in embarrassments and humiliations knowing they lead to true littleness.

These are a few of the wonderful ways, we can fix our hearts on God and grow in our nothingness into a life of great peace and joy with God. But if we try these, but don’t have self-knowledge of our great misery, our efforts won’t grow towards true humility. Therefor we must come to know our sinfulness as without self-knowledge there is no humility.

I understand, for those of us who struggle with low-self esteem (wanting to be someone we aren’t), we would suffer depression greatly, if we knew our sinfulness and truly thought of themselves this way I described above. So after I describe more clearly how to really live this humble life, I will explain how to let go of one’s self and embrace God’s will knowing for certain we are absolutely nothing but a misery and yet, never have a bout of depression again.

First I want to speak about how we boost our pride:

Don’t Want to Be Seen Sinning

We have so many areas in our life that need improvement so we can grow in humility, but tragically we don’t want to see our errors, and from not wanting to appear weak, imperfect or less than another, we don’t want others to see them either. Or we are so worried about what others think about us, and we try to please them hoping to be approved. We have lost focus on who we should be pleasing…God.

To cover our sinfulness, we will come up with bounds of ways to hide our misery. Most teenagers and even adults have various social media accounts, blocking one person and allowing another. Many will have one for the parents and the more pure friends–who they want to pretend like they are decent people with–and another so they can act openly immoral without guilt.

For others, if someone were to correct us or point out our error, we will down right lie about another placing the guilt upon them, create great tails to cover our sin, and become angered at the notion of us being called out as a “sinner”–even if it is a slight offence–all so we don’t have to admit we are guilty and apologize. Our pride is so great, we will bear false witness, making some thing or someone else guilty for our crime and hurt others…all to protect our own ego. 

“For by the grace given to me I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than one ought to think, but to think soberly, each according to the measure of faith that God has apportioned” (Romans 12:3).

But even if we aren’t going to such extremes to appear “good” many don’t realize that we modify our behavior in our everyday life too. Lets say when we are alone and we drive by a beggar, we ignore him, but when we are with someone, we feel guilty for not attending to the beggars needs and being seen as greedy or uncaring, so we give.  How many times are we casual or even rude with our speaking when we are around our family, but we change–not to show respect to others–but so we can be seen a well mannered and good people. Or perhaps we live with our house as a mess and when someone is going to come over, then from our pride, we clean our place up since we want to impress. Oh, I could go on and on but we do very many things to look better than we are from wanting to boost our pride.

If we let go of what others thought and simply focused our time on impressing God, we would easily become saints. But our pride wants us to pretend like we are something we aren’t, coming up with excuses and lies to cover our sins or imperfections, leaving others injured by our actions instead of apologizing and making right our wrongs, all to impress man and not God, because we don’t want to be humble and have others see us as wretched or to be unapproved.

We Covet

We can see our lack of humility when we look at someone, who does something better than us–something that we value or desire–weather it is someone who appears prettier, smarter, more talented, wealthier, holier or more successful at something, etc., from our pride we many feel jealous. If we look into our actions, we can see this reality, as much of the time we put down others who appear better at something than us. We will call them a name, a fraud, insult something about them or even have an overall disliking towards them all to boost our pride. We don’t want to see “good” in them since it hurts our pride.

Some may see another’s blessing and covet (want) our neighbors blessing (or what we think are their blessings) so much that we will spend our time seeking them, not so we can use them for God’s honor and glory, but so we can build up our jealous pride. What race are we running…the one to win the crown of Life or the one to win success in this world?

Some struggle with depression from seeing themselves as a failure in some area of life. We don’t have the peace of the saints from knowing our nothingness…but instead won’t forgive ourselves for our errors or bash ourselves for our failures, none of which comes from humility. That is from deadly pride. The reason many are depressed or struggle with low-self esteem is because we want to see ourselves as something we aren’t. We aren’t content (understanding our limitations) or even honest with who we are.

Boosting Our Pride

Some of us are so used to boosting our pride–thinking it is good–if we hear someone one accepting and acknowledging their weakness, some will actually guide others away from such honesty and tell them to not say such horrible things about themselves, as if having an honest acceptance of one’s imperfections is bad. That is how we begin to change….which surely isn’t bad. Sadly, many don’t want self-knowledge and simply can’t tolerate acknowledging our failures, lack of talents or sins. That depresses many since our pride has us lusting to be someone we aren’t.

When God does give us a gift, talent or blessing, we mostly use that to boost our pride to find self-esteem. This begins in our youth as we struggled to find value with our life. Since most don’t know how to love themselves the way God wants us to, combined with the devil’s temptations, we guide our children into finding value for their selves from their talents. “Oh, you are so smart and pretty” we tell our child. Then, we see a glow of happiness from pride on our child’s face as they feel good about themselves. Well, what happens when the child grows up some and finds out they aren’t “so smart and pretty” after all….well, dissapointment or depression sets in. They were told their “smarts and looks” was what made them good/special and now that reality has hit, they realize they aren’t so smart and pretty after all. So, to try to not live depressed, they run out looking for something to make them happy…and for most it surely isn’t God. Yes, there are a billion lies we all have fallen into believing this, that and the other thing will produce the happiness we are searching for. But they don’t. To learn more on how to stop being depressed with who we are and start thinking of ourselves exactly how God wants us to see ourselves please read, “How to be Happy with all of Our Shortcomings.”

Because of such sinful habitual behaviors of looking for our self-value in our talents, gifts, privileges and blessings, it is extremely hard to gain true knowledge of our sinfulness. After spending our life not knowing how to look into ourselves to know our wrongs–since we don’t really want to see them and want to see ourselves a great or at least good at something–we don’t know most of our crimes against God. We have been building up our self-esteem the wrong way, increasing our pride, which makes humbling ourselves to our true misery very challenging.

Being practically indoctrinated with boosting up ourselves, which hides our imperfections and focuses on our supposed goodness, we can’t see sin anymore. Not that encouraging someone to serve God with the gifts God has given them is bad; we want to do that. But we don’t. We complement others or ourselves so we can make us feel good about ourselves leaving out God altogether.

Sadly, we  have actually made someone lacking outward talents/gifts out to be something of shame….but St. Therese of Lisieux tells us of the great joy it is to be just a little flower…not a fantastic rose but just little. What joy it is to only long to be whatever God wills us to be. If He wants us to have few gifts….great! If He wants us with many…that is great too, but pray and pray a lot if we have many blessings that our pride doesn’t consume us and make us think we have any gift because we are something greater than another. We are not.

God gives all gifts according to His plan for the salvation of souls…not because we are “better” than another. Those talents, which belong to God, are supposed to be used to serve God through loving our neighbor, not to get some award, praise or success (for self-glory or pleasure)….we have been deceived.

Oh, if we could never want to be anything other than what God desires us to be, truly knowing we are just nothing and God is everything, we would be in such peace and achieve perfection like St. Therese was so blessed to achieve.

We Are Nothing

Where do our gifts/blessings come from…God or ourselves? Then, why do we credit and pride ourselves for them? “Oh, but I studied and worked hard to accomplish what I have done” someone might say, as they try to remove credit from God and give credit to themselves to boost their pride. Yes, someone might have worked hard, but who made our brain with the ability to do what we have done?” God or ourselves? Truly everything, even if we have worked to accomplish it, is given to us from God–Our Creator. Sure we can use God’s brain with what every personality, traits and characteristics He allowed to dwell within us and choose to do good or bad with it, but the bottom line is everything is from Our Creator–who made us.

Ask ourselves, “What personal qualities keep us back in life?” Someone might say, “Well, I can’t spell; I have a horrible memory; I’m not creative, I have ADHD and fibromyalgia.” Humm…those aren’t obstacles. Have we been deceived? Those are GIFTS FROM GOD. Truly, no matter what our shortcomings might be, ask ourselves has God made me or anyone with an inferior mind or body as a curse to damn us? Of course not. It most certainly is a blessing IF we trust in God. Now, without trust, those life challenges, can actually become curses that weigh us down, but not for the faithful. For the faithful, they are most wonderful blessings as God’s light cane shine even more beautifully through those who have less, IF we are content with our limitations knowing God truly made us good.

If our pride doesn’t have us wanting to be someone we aren’t, or pretending we have gifts we don’t, then LOVING OUR LITTLENESS is our greatest means to true humility. God can truly work through someone like that. Now that doesn’t mean if we have many talents, we can’t become humble; it is just harder to embrace our littleness since every talent we have, the devil wants for his own and works hard to take them. Sadly, for most he wins and the more talents we have, sadly that means the bigger pride we most likely have.

But that doesn’t mean someone with less talents can’t have a crazy inflated pride just like the talented. Those with less can greatly suffer from coveting (wanting what they don’t have). It is most certainly a reality for many many people. But with the sin of coveting, if we have less talents, it is easier to banish that sin than for someone with much talent suffering from the sin of prideful boasting, because in general, delighting on one’s talents for happiness, is more binding (a greater attachment) than coveting. But with God all things are possible. Run to Him…He wants us saved.

But to get us thinking correctly, never forget underneath all of those talents, we are still nothing but just one wretched sinner just like anyone else. Why do we boast? We are a little speck of dust. We–with many talents or with few–are all the absolute same….true nothingness…just a sinful misery in need of a Savior, who God still loves and wants to uses (with the gifts He has given us) to do His great deeds for the salvation of souls, if we allow Him.

Sadly, delighting on our nothingness…not wanting to be anything and have God being our everything is practically an unknown concept in today’s world. This needs to change if we want humility and salvation.

Great Pride from Great Complements

Now, there is nothing wrong with being happy with our talents and when our works produce success…but lets honestly ask ourselves, “Is that happiness to praise God for working through us as we seek His will or honestly are we looking at our self, delighting in our work for self-glory and complementing our self so we can feel happy through the boosting of our pride? If we look carefully and honestly, we can clearly see, much of the time, if not all of the time, we are happy and even crave happiness from our blessings as a form of self-love, not to love of God.

You see, we are a people that need love to survive. It is a natural requirement for survival. However, the evil one takes what is good and makes it into something quite sinful. If we don’t have a true relationship with God, which delivers all the love we need, we will seek this love somewhere else and that for many is done through the boosting of our pride in many many different ways.

“You are my God. My happiness lies in you alone.” (Psalm 16:2)

  • COMPLEMENTS: Lets say, one day we get a hair cut and someone complements us. The next time we get a hair cut and nobody says anything, that bothers us. We are sad thinking we must not look good. Our delight in vanity consumes us. From our deadly pride, we crave the complements. I could change this complement from hair cut and replace it with practically anything for example: “volunteering at Church,” “completing a task at work,” “buying an new outfit,” “dong something for someone else,” “being more skilled at something than another,” etc. and we  would see the same outcome of disappointment if we aren’t complemented. Giving complements can be good, but much of the time they are only harmful to the person we are complementing. Be careful, use them sparingly and only to encourage, not for pride building or to look like we are a friendly person. We don’t want someone to become addicted to complements from us tempting them.

Craving Attention 

How many of us are searching for someone to make us whole, to talk to us, to make us feel cared for?

We think we want to love others, but our motive for most everything we do is tainted with self-seeking self-love. LOVE: Our craving for love..oh, our pride doesn’t want us to be little and only seek to love God. No, we want love, attention, and affection from others. The bouts of self-pity we will have as we complain about our lack of affection from others is great. This is an area of our pride that has consumed so many, and most are completely blind to it. To have the humility that saves we need to seek to love others and God in every thought, word or action. To see how we are lacking this, we need to ask ourselves, “Is what I desire or am doing to love someone else or myself?” We can see a big “seeking love” problem with the “look at me” mentality we have with our social media, which has gone out of control. If we want to see if our intentions to our actions–so we don’t die blind to our love for sin–then we need to ask ourselves, “why am I posting that pic?” Is it to share my life with another to love them and with the ultimate goal to inspire them to love God? Are we asking for needed prayers or help, not for attention but for seeking true help? Or is what we are do so we can receive the pride boosting comments. Do we want to be seen as fun person, having a good time. Or are we seeking to showoff our talent, looks, privileged or opinion? Perhaps we are seeking self-pity and sympathy? Is everything truly for some kind of attention? Are we really feeding our pride with our actions? To change this, we need to stop and asking ourselves before we do anything, “Am I doing this to truly LOVE GOD through loving another or is all or part to love myself?”Since most don’t know how to love, much of the love we show one another actually leads others into greater pride or seeking the pleasures of the world and not God. It is truly tragic. This topic is so grand, it is so hard to know what is the greatest good and how to love correctly, where someone is in their life. To learn more please read “How Can I Really Love?”

These are just a couple of the vast array of ways we seek to boost our pride. Yet, the truly humble CRAVE NOTHING. They want nothing…just to know, serve and love God. They know who they are…WRETCHED and look for nothing to diminish that reality. They don’t look to hide their sins from others and aren’t embarrassed when someone see’s their misery. They want to be seen in the correct light. The humble don’t boast of their goodness; they know they have none…anything good they do or possess is from God alone. It is His not their own. They boast is of God’s goodness and want all glory to be given to God and none to themselves…and they live in perfect peace as a result of their true love for God.

If we look, we can see we prove very quickly that the things we feel we need to be happy are the fleeting pleasures of the word, because we can experience the hi we feel when we get them and the despair when they leave. We want the complements, the friends, the comfort, the entertainment and when we don’t have any one of them, we are not happy. We have made the world our heart’s desire and are pushing away God as a result.

Don’t Know God

Most love filling our pride to bring us happiness, and as a result we don’t know God. The devil will trick us into thinking we know God form our knowledge of the faith  and love God has given to us, but if we only knew what we were missing, what true knowledge of  God really is, we would stop what we are doing the truly seek Our Lord.

God provides us with a world to use to know, serve and love Him and we get caught up in its pleasures and desire them and not Our Beloved Creator. If we only knew how much we hurt God when we allow our heart to desire the smallest thing that isn’t Him, we would just cry. Tragically, we crush His Tender Heart. And horribly, we long for countless things, just countless thing that simply aren’t Our most Loving Lord because our pride wants them and not God.

False Joy

We have been tricked into thinking true happiness is found in the success of this world, but it isn’t. For some, if we can’t find happiness in our “talents,” friends or success, or some worldly pleasure, we might exaggerate issues or dwell on life’s woes so we can at least have pleasure from the self-pity and the sympathy of others, which is all derived from deadly pride.

If we look at why most of us are happy, we will see our daily happiness and happiest moments are found by some kind of pleasure of the world. Look at our daily happiness. Where does that come from? Does it start with a good cup of morning coffee, pleasant walk outside, satisfying breakfast, and then move to a delicious lunch with friends, next into a successful/easy day at work, and into a relaxing enjoyable night with a fine glass of wine and a soothing restful sleep. Hum…sound nice, well none of that is supposed to be our source of happiness. It can bring us happiness, but it shouldn’t be something we look for. None of that is supposed to be what we long for to satisfy our desire for peace/joy. But sadly it does. Tragically, we don’t long for God, not really. We have to “make” time for Him…if we spend any time with Him at all. We will easily find time for all of the other things we really like, but honestly our hearts don’t long for God, so we spend time with Him either out of habit, obligation, desperation, or we force ourselves, if at all. We don’t seek God nor burn to be with Him and His love, which is truly found through the CROSS. Tragically, we long for the comfort and pleasures of the world MUCH MUCH MORE…not in prayer and the cross of Christ. Actually, most hate the cross and run from it.

We Deserve Nothing
Sadly, we think we deserve all of those lovely things of the world. Ahh but we don’t. We deserve Hell for our sins, not a life of pleasure. We have been deceived. We don’t know our sinfulness nor the consequence of the slightest sin. As a result, we strive for happiness from boosting our pride with countless things because we think we deserve something, when we are nothing but a misery.

The devil deceives us and we say, “Oh the world is good and God wants us happy.” Yes, God wants us happy, but not with the world, which is under the power of the evil one, but happy with HIM. But we can’t find happiness with God…because we have chosen the world instead.

I’m in no way saying we should go around making others lives full of crosses because they deserve it. No, not at all. We, the faithful, should willingly and happily take up the crosses for the weak and carry their burdens to send them wonderful grace so they can convert and one day willingly desire to follow Christ too.

Truly, following Christ is the Way. There is no other path. Jesus chose the cross and denied Himself of the world’s pleasure to love us. He was the embodiment of humility. Therefore, if we want to gain humility look at what Christ did. Even without sin, Christ, who deserved perfect splendor, who had perfect splendor in Heaven, loved us so much, that He left all of that to show us the Way we need to follow to obtain Heaven. He gave us the perfect example of what true humility is…He left all that was pleasant, for a life on earth in suffering for the benefit of us. We are to do the same.

If we knew our sinfulness, the marvel of the cross and understood how little we deserve, we would strive to live a life of penance (like the saints)…not pleasure. Then, from embracing the cross, God would fill us with true joy that lasts…just like the saints, who we are supposed to be following to Christ. But we aren’t.

Gain Correct Help
From the consequence of sin and the suffering it brings upon earth, a lot of people want to change. Some are humble enough to see we have issues. However, we will look and look, but for most it is an endless cycle of gaining some knowledge (or even misguided knowledge) and changing so little…if anything at all. Tragically, we are not growing into the image of Christ. If what we are doing still hasn’t worked in stopping the consequences of sin we have after a life time of effort, why are we continuing to do the same thing…Are we just hoping today will be different. It won’t….it hasn’t. We must see where we are going wrong and LEARN from our mistakes and then do something different that obtains the results we need. But most are so foolish and continue in our same sinful habits day in and day out, having our desire to change be nothing but a mere thought.

The goal in reading any self-improvement material is to find what we are doing wrong so we can improve…we are supposed to look for our “guilt.” But most books help so little, if at all. God’s Word–the ultimate self-improvement Book–is supposed to teach us what to do to gain knowledge of our sinfulness in order to remove the veil from our eyes so we can see and change. It is to get us to turn inward and work or correcting ourselves. Yet, we don’t read the Bible with the right intentions much of the time. The only reason things aren’t going well for us is from our sins. And if we are covering our sins and blind to them, we won’t even see what it is that is hurting out lives.“You have eyes in your minds that are shrouded in darkness because of your sins and evil deeds” St. Theophilus of Antioch declares…”A person’s soul should be clean…hand yourself over to the doctor…who heals and gives life through his Word and wisdom.” 

Eventhough we might “say” with our words we want to change, with sin, much of the time, we don’t really want to see it; we don’t really want to be healed…since we inwardly love the sin. Tragically, we like our sins. We will “say” we hate them, but deep down, we love them. Oh, we can easily see our neighbors seemingly greater sins, but many of us have a really hard time seeing our own sins, even if they are blaring to others, as we declare, “I don’t do that” or “I’m a good guy.” But I tell you, we do…we are wretched. We just don’t see it or don’t want to admit to it.

Shockingly, most sins–to some degree–we have committed. Truly this is the truth. Do you think your neighbor, who you see as such a great sinner has committed bounds more crimes against God than you, well if you could read your soul the way God reads the truth, we would see we are most likely equally as guilty, if not more. Truly, some of us have become so darkened to our great sinfulness, we honestly believe we hardly sin–some even believe we don’t lie–which can’t be further from the truth.

We are real good at telling others what they should be doing, but if we don’t have self-knowledge to know how to fix ourselves, how can we properly guide another. With such blindness, we can’t see correctly to help another from the beam we still have in our own eye. “First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye” (Matthew 7:5). So if we see someone committing some horrendous sin or any sin for that fact and think we are so much better of a person than them, we really need to stop and consider if we commit that same crime just differently. If God were to parallel our crimes to that of a hardened criminal, we very will might be shocked how God views our sinfulness. He doesn’t judge sins as we do…only at face value. No…He looks at the seriousness of sin quite differently. He looks at the gifts He has given us, the grace He has sent us, the calling He expects us to fulfill and all of that weighs into our guilt. Chances are, if we really look into ourselves, we will see much guilt–maybe even greater guilt than those we see as committing graver atrocities than we do. We need to reduce ourselves to where we belong…truly wretched sinners–dust. Yes, we are all but dust. And then, when we stop and look at others and then look deep into ourselves, we will heart of understanding for others sinfulnessnot hold grudges and unforgiveness, but love in return no matter what wrong has been committed like Our Most Merciful Lord does for us.

“You will never have real mercy for the failings of another until you know and realize that you have the same failings in your soul” (St. Bernard of Clairvaux).

We won’t spend our day looking to be treated well, looking for respect or love, looking for a better life, complaining about the injustices against us, being angry about this and that, and frustrated when things don’t go the way we want…living a life of discontent. We will have peace. There is no peace for the proud. The poor proud souls are constantly disgruntled about something or someone, always finding wrong, there is no understanding, no forgiveness. The proud might say we forgive but our hearts are far from being in peace. The proud have no peace. We feel we deserve better. We look for peace in the world, find it for a moment, but have no peace with Christ. Oh, if we only knew what kind of sinner we really are…we would see we deserve nothing no matter how esteemed the position we hold in life is, we would understand we deserve absolutely nothing. After we come to know the real truth about ourselves even more clearly, we will grow in greater gratitude for the forgiveness, love and patience of God. We won’t’ become offended/angry at the seemingly wrong actions of others anymore. We will see we are no better and return the love and patience of God, truly understanding we are all needing mercy. And when we show the understanding and mercy of God, understanding and mercy will be shown to us. Without a doubt, we are no better than the worst of criminal…no better at all. We just can’t see it.

Sadly, some people have programmed ourselves so well to only see ourselves “guilty” if we commit a crime against God in a “big” way…we don’t consider the small infractions and as a result we hardly grow in grace since we are busy thinking of ourselves as “good.” I can’t express how difficult it is to come to know our true self,  even if we think we really want to know ourselves, because deep within ourselves, we really don’t. Oh, uncovering the lie is so challenging. Truly, if we wanted to know, we would see. But, we have been deceived by the evil one and unknowingly pretend to be someone we aren’t because reality hurts. We don’t want to be a sinner; we want to be a success. So we cover our guilt. Tragically, many of us really like our sinfulness and just don’t want to see it to avoid the pain of reality. How horrible it is to learn we love to sin! But this reality we need to humble ourselves and accept, if we ever want to grow in humility and one day sincerely hate all sin and have the true peace of God. Sadly, we cover our sins so well that even if we were to beg God to revile them to us, the honesty in our plea much of the time simply wouldn’t be sincere, and we would just stay the same. Removing the veil is so very hard. But God’s with grace, especially if the sacraments are approached correctly, becomes much easier.

“Can anything humble us before His justice as the enormity of our innumerable offences” (St. Francis de Sales).

We are Great Sinners
Tragically, we have committed practically all of the sins out there to some degree or another. I know that seems utterly ridiculous to some but horribly, for most of us, it is quite true. Perhaps we haven’t directly committed sodomy, murdered anyone, or done any of the other horrific sins, but we really need to think again and see if we are guilty of those crimes indirectly“I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).

“Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators [sexual relations outside of marriage], idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites [people who participate in homosexual or other unnatural sexual acts], thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

For example: Sodomy, as defined in the Word, is unnatural sexual behavior, a sin deserving great punishment in the fires of Hell as God has clearly shown us to from the punishment the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah went through. “Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 7).  St. Paul even states homosexual acts as “shameless acts” in Romans 1:26-32 and in Leviticus 20:13 it states, “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, they have committed an abomination.” Surely, sodomy harms both us and God greatly. However, unnatural sex isn’t only having sexual relations or lust with someone of the same sex, it is much more. We need to learn what that is and that is found by learning what is natural sexual behavior so we can implore God for the grace needed to amend our sinful ways?

Do we know that God gave us our sexual desires not for self-satisfaction purposes but to love our spouse and procreate. That is it. Natural sexual behavior for us humans–with self control and discipline–is supposed to be used to love, not take love…to be pure, not impure. “God did not call us to impurity but to holiness” (1 Thessalonians 4:7). Oh, but the rewards of sexual stimulation are so satisfying, instead of acting as “a lover of goodness, temperate, just, holy, and self-controlled” (Titus 1:8), we crave the pleasure, dump “loving another,” and want to be satisfied. Yet, ALL we do, as the Word says, is suppose to benefit our neighbor (spouse), not ourselves. “Do nothing out of selfishness…each looking out not for his own interests” (Philippians 2:3-4).

How is our sexual life? Is it self-satisfying, perverted and not holy? The Word says, “for those who are self-seeking and who obey not the truth but wickedness, there will be wrath and fury” (Romans 2:8) Do we really believe the Word? If so, we really need to change our intentions for why we do what we do, even in our sexual life…God sees all of our hidden desires. Are we lusting after our spouses? Are we living to sacrifice and serve or are we looking to care for #1 (ourselves)? We are called to love others…not seek to get love. What a challenge…especially if we are married with a constant temptation in front of us. What control and discipline the married man must grow to have! Sure being married can be the greatest good at first like St. Paul says, “if they can’t control themselves, they should get married, because it’s better to marry than to burn with passion” (1 Corinthians 7:9). If one’s sexual desires are so great, and one doesn’t have the grace to control himself, having ones spouse meet their needs is a great blessing since seeking pornography and prostitutes is far worse of a sin than lusting after one’s spouse. But we are supposed to grow from lusting after our spouse into a life of true purity. Sadly, even married men having spouses to help temperate their desires so they can work towards gaining better self control and purity, still don’t seek God’s grace correctly, and resort to great sexual immorality. But like I said, one must grow from even lusting after one’s spouse and obtain God’s grace to lust after nothing if he seeks to Live. Like the saints say, we must loose all sensuality (pursuit of sexual pleasure including sexiness & attractiveness). What a challenge!

“[When] men and women who marry, to form their union…their marriage may be according to the Lord, and not after their own lust. Let all things be done to the honour of God” (St. Ignatius of Antioch).

Truly, if we think seeking sexual gratification is no big deal, please think again. God told us in everything we do, it must be holy. “Be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct” ( 1 Peter 1:15). This is obedience to God. Do we love our sex so much, we are willing to die for all eternity to have a few fleeting moments of pleasure on earth? What are our thoughts during our sexual encounter? Holy? Hummm. Are we full with gratitude for the pleasure God sends us for loving our spouse or are we full of greed wanting better and more satisfaction? How natural or unnatural are we in our sexuality? Are we guilty?

“Be sure of this, that no fornicator [person having sex out side of marriage] or impure person [who participates in watching, wearing, speaking, or doing anything sexualy immoral]…has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Ephesians 5:5).

Before we go pointing the finger at someone else’s sin having no understanding for their weakness, lacking pity for their lack of grace or building up ourselves as we put down others thinking how horrible someone else is for not doing or doing something, we need to think again. Perhaps we look at the poor miserable soul that went out of his mind and slaughtered many for some twisted self satisfaction, thinking he is the worst of all humanity. Well, we need to know somewhat where we stand in God’s eyes before we judge him as so much worse than ourselves. If we think we have never killed anyone and certainly are not some horrific mass murderer, well God might think other wise. Guess who God associates priests who celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass without having a true desire to stop sinning…Jesus Himself, assimilates them to grotesque murders of their wives as God goes into detail of the wives (God’s) hoarddeaths by His beloved priests. Absolutely dreadful!

And how many times have we partaken in receiving Jesus’ actual Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Most Holy Eucharist, without even thinking about stopping many of our sins, without having a true horror for sin (lacking true sorrow) for our terrifying offences against God? How uncaring; how cruel are we to God–our Wonderful Loving Adorable Creator–who is tortured…murdered over and over again by us–by our sins? Do we not think this is real murder? Well, what do you think our Judge thinks? Have we been the mass murderers, who care so little for God, killing Him over and over again, as we mostly seeking to care for ourselves–not even considering what our sins are doing to Our Most Precious Lord as He enters into our dreadful tabernacle of iniquity? The severity of our sins, for the most part, is much graver than we could ever imagine. We are the most miserable of sinners, truly in need of a Savior. We need to obtain true sorrow, from His grace to be saved. Now is the time to repent and CHANGE. Don’t wake up tomorrow and do the same thing you did yesterday…make a plan and begin one by one to amend our ways. Start NOW!

“They [the priests] pierce me with a sharp blade that penetrates the intestines whenever the priest goes to the altar with the knowledge that he has sinned and [supposedly] repented, but yet is firmly resolved to sin again [doesn’t desire to stop sinning]…their will is to sin and to continue in sin until the end…now I will also tell you their judgment and whom they are like. Their judgment is damnation [if we don’t truly repent and change]…they will be damned for all eternity, and not only priests, but also everyone who rejects the commandments of God!” (Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden, Chapter 47).

Fear of the Lord
That quote above from Jesus should bring about some fear…I hope. Can, from what Jesus mentioned above bring about a true thirst for Life….not if we don’t have the grace to hear. But if we do have some grace to hear, the very first thing we need in order to work towards obtaining true humility is the desire to see our sins and the determination to stop committing them out of fear of there consequences. We need to grow in grace so we will burn with desire to seek Life. This web site can teach us some knowledge of the Way, which is great, but it will be found meaningless, if we aren’t truly resolved to change our life out of “fear of the Lord.” For someone to even begin working towards a truly humble contrite heart, we need to gain wisdom from God–fear of the Lord. Without fear of the Lord (wisdom: knowing we must change out of fear of sin and it’s consequences) we simply can’t advance towards Life, and will remain blind. If we don’t fear inflicting injury upon God, and loosing His love because of our sins (finial fear) or at least fear God’s punishments we will have on earth, in Purgatory or in Hell from our sinful choices, there is no possibility of gaining true self-knowledge. This fear must come first. And for most, it is the fear of punishments (servile fear) that truly motivates us to begin to take our sins seriously and want to know them so to stop them.

This generation has sadly become so darkened, very few have the first step toward humility “the beginning of wisdom…fear of the Lord”(Proverbs 9:10) because most presume we are saved from whatever faith we do have; therefore we don’t have a saving faith since we lack a fervent desire to know our sins and true resolve to amend them. Tragically, we don’t really hate our sins nor seek a saving faith. We do’t think we need to and assume we have one.

This beginning of wisdom, for most, servile fear, which is the understanding that there are real earthly and eternal consequences for our sins, like I said, is what initially drives the majority of people to change. Without that fear, we can’t grow into the more perfect, finial fear–fear of loosing and offending God whom we should love, which is the fear we need to accept God’s saving mercy at the moment of our death. But as we know, the real earthly and eternal consequences to sin is the least preached topic because the devil has deceived us so greatly. No body wants to mention what will happen if we don’t obey. The devil has us mute. What we need most to be saved is spoken about the least or not at all. Oh, how the devil has caught us in his web of deception! We must pray, fast and sacrifice. Actually we must pray humbly. Then with courage speak the truth. Nonetheless, we need to learn how to loose self-love (pride) and grow in true love of God and that is done by growing in wisdom (“fear of the Lord”).

“Let us not deceive ourselves. If we have not got humility, we have nothing” (St. Vincent de Paul).

Tragically, we have allowed the devil to strip us of the first step in gaining humility–“fear of the Lord.” As a result most see no desperation to change and sadly don’t even honestly want to stop sinning. We will “say” or “think” we want to know our sins and stop sinning…what person wants to admit they want to continue to sin, but we live deceived and the intentions in our hearts simply aren’t pure, as our constant repeat of sins proves. Those who really hate their sins, fervently seek God’s grace and from their open hearts, receive it and little by little STOP their sins. They simply don’t continue in them day after day, year after year….they change. They are truly GROWING into the likeness of their Creator. Sadly, our claims to not want to sin are proven to be just halfhearted words or thoughts…not driven from a true “fear of the Lord” as our lack of continuous change proves. However, the more pure our desire to stop sinning, the more we grow in true knowledge of our misery and gain great humility. That is why “God Wants You in Heaven” focuses so strongly on obtaining this goal, the desire to “sin no more,” we must have a desire for Heaven from knowing what it takes to get there, because in general, we as a society, have lost all of the steps needed to obtain a saving faith…even the very first one–working to stop our sins–striving to become saints out of “fear of the Lord.”

Like in accord with St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church, who says in his book “The Steps of Humility and Pride” the first step to humility is “fear of God to be constantly on the watch against sin” and the second is “not to love one’s own will.” These two are the staples to humility. Gaining more and more fear of the Lord and a greater and greater disdain for one’s own will, will cause us to grow wonderfully in the other virtues that produce a truly humble contrite heart, which is all accomplished by God’s grace, through gaining true self-knowledge. Then we can take our new humility to God for His endless saving mercy that is waiting for the truly humble contrite of heart, God will console our soul as we trust in Him to bring us to a saving faith.

“When cares increase in my heart [when hatred of my injury I cause You by my sinfulness increase] Your consolation calms my soul” (Psalm 94:19).

How to Change

There are 8 steps:

  1. Admitted we have a problem and can’t over come it alone: “I’m a sinner, someone with great pride, but I can’t see where I’m going wrong and don’t know how to fix it.”
  2. Ask God for help: “I need God to help enlighten and strengthen me.”
  3. Resolved to Change: “From this day forward I will learn and do what is necessary to change.”
  4. Examine our Conscience: “I will thoroughly examine my conscience to see where I have gone wrong.”
  5. Confess our Sins: “I will confess my sins to a priest and someone who can help me change.”
  6. Make a Resolution/Penance: “I will look for ways I can do the opposite of what my problem is to over come it.”
  7. Pray to God, the Saints and Angels for Help: “When I feel weak, I will go to Our Lord and the faithful for help.”
  8. Make Right our Wrongs: “I will humble myself and correct the damage I have made admitting my faults.”

Then repeat…without perseverance.

How to Read the Word with Humility
We have to grow much in humility; therefore lets begin to learn from God’s directions: the Word. To read the Word with the humility needed to learn our sinfulness, we should never read any passage thinking we are innocent of anything. When we read ask God to make us innocent and to teach us how we are failing and show us the Way. We point the finger at nobody but ourselves. For example: If the Word says the Pharisees are guilty of this, that and the other thing. We never think how horrible those Pharisees are for not seeking the truth right before them, etc. and how it is a good thing we don’t do what they do. Looking at anyone’s sin and saying, “it is good I don’t do that” is a boast of blinding pride because, most likely, to some degree we do what they do. The challenge is seeing it. Therefore, we cry out to God when we read a verse in the Word that shows us someone elses guilt and ask God to show us how we commit that same offence…enlighten my eyes to the truth. Or if in the Word is to boasting of God’s mercy on them because of their rightiousness, we never agree we are Then we implore Our Loving Lord to teach us how to stop. We always assume guilt…and never presume innocence. 

The same goes when we are helping others to stop their sins. Immediately after we have seen someone elses guilt or corrected someone else to guide them to the Light, we turn to God asking Him to show us how we are still guilty of that same crime,  so we can continue to repent and work towards truly sinning no more. The devil doesn’t want us to humble ourselves; he wants us to pride ourselves. But we must train our bodies to see our guilt and not be found guilty ourselves after we have taught the Word to others. Then praise God in great thanksgiving for giving us eyes that can see (some of our misery) and have horrible sadness for those who still can’t…knowing we are still quite blind ourselves. Removing all boastful thoughts and only seeing God’s grace at work in us is where true humility is found. We are to never be angry at one another for their sins or any other reason. We have no right, for we a misery ourselves, but are only to show great sadness for their lack of grace. Sure, we, on a rare occasion, can have anger at the sin and have that anger fuel our desire to see that we do something to help end the sin, but we can never have anger at the sinner only love and understanding. We very well might be a greater sinner in the eyes of the Lord and surely we want His understanding and love. Therefore we must forgive. Sadly, so many simply can’t see their sinfulness nor understand the consequences of their actions; if they did surely they would stop. Horribly, they are missing God’s wonderful help that is waiting for them. How sad! But for those who can see, after much persistence seeking grace after grace and working diligently to stop our sins, the severity of our sins will deplete, and we will grow and grow in God’s wonderful image. We will begin to act more and more like Christ. And then, only after much work with God, from true humility, through God’s most transforming grace, will our sins truly leave.

Crushed Heart
Our heart is a muscle physically and metaphorically. It is tough and needs to be soften–humbled. How do we soften a hard tough piece of meat? We tenderize it; we pound it; we crush it. If we are asking God to make us humble, we are asking God to crush our heart. And He will send us people and events to do just that. Don’t think we are going to be without much pain (without the cross) and some how grow in true humility. Loosing our pride is very painful. If you think you are humble but don’t have a crushed heart….your thoughts of humility are a deception from the devil. We must be crushed. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, [He] saves those whose spirit [pride] is crushed” (Psalm 34:19). We must be crushed of our pride, become poor in spirit (little in pride) and become utterly nothing so our hearts can finally be a soft mold-able piece of flesh that God’s grace can transform with His love. It is that wicked pride that stiffens us up and makes us unchangeable.

You might ask, “How many times must we be crushed, to be softened in order to obtain true humility?” You might be surprised but the answer is constantly. Yes, our goal is to be constantly in the state of mortification of our sinfulness…The goal is to live in constant great sorrow for our sins and at the same time live in wonderful happiness and peace being surrounded by God’s love (mercy). It is quite a marvel, quite the mystery. It is just like how the saints, while being tortured, suffering the most horrific pain would declare they have never had so much joy and love for God in their life. Their pain was drowned away by God’s love and with our crushed spirit it is consoled perfectly by God’s endless mercy. Unless you have experienced God’s grace in this way, I’m not sure there are words to adequately describe this marvel of God’s love that He sends to us. But this is what we should hope and strive for.

Sadly, most of us haven’t yet to be crushed at all. Tragically, we have never had a crushed heart over our sins, never mind a continuous contrite heart. We might feel bad sometimes, but we are far from “crushed” that we have offended Our Lord and Creator. Oh, we will know it when we happens, at least when God allows us to feel much pain. Of course we won’t be even sure then, if our sorrow is true, since we can’t read our souls, but when we are crushed, we will feel pain similar to the other moments in our life when our hearts were greatly wounded. How could we not…if we are truly devastated by our sinfulness. If we take our crushed heart and run to God for His mercy…God will send His love to surround our hearts healing them of their misery. Perhaps God will even allow us to “experience” His unfathomable love…but nonetheless whether we “feel” God’s love or not, we need to know God is “healing the brokenhearted” (Psalm 147:3). Just beautiful!

How frequently we are crushed depends upon us and our openness to conversion (grace). Some of us are very proud people and need to undergo incredible suffering to see our need to stop sinning. Others will only need a few words to move us, but from our lack of faith, we won’t continue to peruse growing and changing after temptation comes and will be right back to our sinful lukewarm ways again. Many of us need constant motivation, from our little roots or we are lost too. However, after God’s continuous pursuit of us, we might be one of the blessed and finally see the real need to change and are finally motivated to continuously do what is necessary to follow Christ. As we know, for many of us, it isn’t until we have suffered greatly because we didn’t heed to God’s earlier calls that we finally relented our will and sought to change and follow His. However, many don’t receive as many so chances (calls). We should be so utterly grateful if we do…It is just terrible how many people simply don’t know our constant rejection of amending our ways can spurn God so greatly, from divine justice, “it is your sins that make him hide his face” (Isaiah 59:2) and we are left without any more calls nor guidance to the Light. How tragic!

If we want to obtain a true humility, we need to be in great pursuit of the crown of Life–seeking to one day love God perfectly. And when we do this correctly we will begin to be crushed at our sinfulness. As our understanding of our misery and consequence of sin grows we will be crushed multiple times a day, hoping to someday to be constantly mortified. So don’t cringe in embarrassment and run to hide from the person we offend when we sin or justify our wrongs and make them out as no big deal, but allow ourselves to be crushed, apologize (if appropriate), make right our wrongs, and humble ourselves before God and others. Let others see our weakness, so they know we are sinners, who are deeply sorry and striving to change. That is humility. Strive to become little. This is especially important with people in leadership positions since the devil has tricked many into feeling they need to be seen as infallible to hold their positions. Frankly, if you want to convert souls, there is no greater way than having someone watch the leader actually live the Word…for them who guide us to use themselves and their weakness to help others and are willing to admit their guilt (practice humility) and work towards changing without being forced by being caught. Outside of the sacrament of reconciliation there is no greater way to grow in humility than to admit one’s guilt to each other, not looking for approval from the one we offend or did wrong to, but to show our sorrow, imperfections, and to make amends if necessary. That is how we remove pride from ourselves and grow in true humility–we apologize and make right our wrongs.

“Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed [of your pride and sinful ways]” (James 5:16).

If someone is really open to God’s grace, they can gain true humility perhaps not constantly but maybe during confession or before receiving Holy Communion. To convert into a true continuous humility, for most, it takes years and is a daily struggle against the devil to obtain the new heart God promises. Yes, to be constantly crushed in our heart…over our great sinfulness is a most wonderful gift and most certainly leads to perfection, but it takes much work.

“I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. I will remove the heart of stone [pride] from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh [love]” (Ezekiel 36:26).

We can easily see in our everyday life many different ways we are “crushed.” Sadly, most don’t use those humbling moments to grow in humility but actually use them to grow in even greater pride (as we cover our sins) or we loose hope and sink in depression from not turning to God for His love (which is a different form of pride). When I think of someone’s heart being crushed, I initially think of a boy’s heart being crushed by the insensitive girl who mercilessly rejects him. How many boys won’t even risk pain to their hearts, if rejection might occur, and choose to protect their hearts and not even talk to or ask out a girl because of the great fear of injury. This is the exact pain we will feel when we have finally been crushed by our sinfulness towards God and feel truly remorseful for our offence to Him.

Many protect their hearts from this injury at all cost. They don’t want to feel this kind of pain. Yes, rejection certainly crushes our pride and hurts greatly, which from God’s grace can be transformed into much good. Or we can choose the wrong path and rejection can turn into something bad depending on what we choose. Oh, the heart “who can understand it” (Jeremiah 17:9). “What is humility of the heart?” as St. Peter Julian Eymard teaches, “it consists in receiving humiliations from God with a submissive love.”

But we don’t want our humiliations. Truly many, would be more willing to be beaten than to have our hearts squished. How many people have lost all hope over injury to their hearts…not from a physical beating but from an emotional one? Many don’t take God’s wonderful path of humility, rejoicing in the cross uniting with Christ’s rejection and becoming little, allowing God and His love to be our everything, but rather the devil gets them and they choose the wrong path and fall into despair. This heart of ours, that hurts so easily, we must willingly allow to be injured over and over again so we can learn God’s blessed ways. Sounds horrible, but it is true. This is how we grow in humility: knowledge of our misery (truly knowing our great sinfulness) and coming to know our real need for God’s mercy and how little we really are. If we want to become little, so God can be everything, we must be squished. So don’t run from humiliations and injury to our heart, embrace them as God’s heavenly will.

“That man is truly humble who converts humiliation into humility” (St. Bernard of Clairvaux).

Following God’s Will
God allows our hearts to be crushed in order to soften them in two ways: by following His will and by coming to know our sinfulness and its all done through the cross (suffering). “For he wounds, but he binds up; he strikes, but his hands give healing” (Job 5:18). This is needed to tenderize our hard hearts of stone and heal them with God’s love. If we want to grow in humility we must honestly look into our crushed broken hearts to see where we need to change. Then in our brokenness turn to God for His loving, healing grace to amend our broken hearts and fill them with His true love.

To obey God and follow Him, much of the time it involves much suffering and rejection. And that is good. Like I said, God is using that pain to humble us. So if God wants us to speak with someone you know lacks love and will only hurt you, obey Him. Praise God for the cross. Don’t run from it. Oh, how we are naturally inclined to run from all who cause us pain, especially if it is to our hearts, since it hurts so much. That is where the real transformation is found. We give, we love, we care, we sacrifice for others and some times we are misunderstood and/or intentionally ignored, rejected and maybe even mocked in return. Oh, the sting…we cry. Yet, we are suffering just like Jesus. Just look at the perfect love He gave and still gives, and the malice He received and still receives in return for His perfect love. How can we really follow Christ and really obey Him, if we don’t want His cross? We can’t. Please don’t only love, when we are loved in return, that isn’t truly loving; we won’t find humility or Jesus that way. We must let go of the desire to be loved in return, and love for the sake of Love (God), who dwells in each person, especially those who cause us much pain.

Another way to crush our spirit and grow in humility is like St. Bernard said, letting go of our will. Those suffering from much pride want to do what they want and want others to do what they want. Therefore, if someone asks us to do something, no matter what it is, unless it is truly impossible or sinful, do it. Stop seeking what we want, be inconvenienced, work tired, be discomforted, change our plans, do something we don’t like, be embarrassed, do something we think we can’t…simply, don’t make excuses, ask God for help, let go of our will and follow God’s. Don’t think God doesn’t want us to do what is asked of us; if we have much pride, we won’t be able to know God’s wills from our condition, therefore just do what is asked of us. Assume it is God’s will and say “yes, Lord.” Please remember God uses the people around us to help us crush our spirit. We need to remove our fear, laziness and control and just trust. Therefore, let go of our will and serve others. Follow St. Paul who said, “I have made myself a slave to all” (1 Corinthians 9:19). God had that person ask something of us not for us to reject them, but for us to grow in humility and say “yes…not my will.” Even if it is a waste of our time, just do it. God will make a way for it to happen and make it good…look, learn and grow.

“Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).

If we find we aren’t strong enough to respond with a “yes” on the spot when someone asks us to do something, and our habitual unloving “no” comes out instead, not to worry. God can soften our selfishness. If our self-serving attitude naturally takes over because we lack much grace, then we need to go to God to gain more grace and discipline to respond with a “sure no problem” the next time someone asks us for help. To do this we need to do the following:

  • First: recognize our unwillingness to serve others outside of our comfort zone.
  • Second: hate our sin, repent and seek to change.
  • Third: make a resolution: come up with a real plan and words to say the next time someone asks us of something we don’t want to do.
  • Forth: perform a penance–a real penance that will help us obtain the discipline needed, hatred of our will and love for the cross.

This penance we need to do can be really great and provide us with the real growth we need. Never neglect it. Our penance–our practice of humility–should make right our wrongs (if possible) and be something we impose upon ourselves, if the priest in confession didn’t give us an adequate one, catered to our particular sin. It should be the exact opposite of our problem. Lets say, we don’t like to do things outside to where we could become too hot or too cold because we don’t want to be discomforted and reject serving others because of that. Then our penance should be doing chores, not what is asked of us–but elected chores (picking the least enjoyable one)–outside during the most uncomfortable time of day so we can have a real cross to carry. It should be a true cross that we choose and offer up for the salvation of souls. This is how we will learn to love God and the cross He chose to carry for us, which will help us learn how to follow Him and grow in wonderful humility too.

“There is more value in a little study of humility and in a single act of it than in all the knowledge in the world” (St. Teresa of Avila).

Protect Our Pride
How many times have our hearts been crushed when we thought someone liked (loved) us or cared about us, when they seemingly didn’t, or we thought someone understood, when they only misunderstood and didn’t seem to get us at all, etc. Oh, how many misunderstanding have led our hearts into injury. Some of the times our crushed heart is a result of the unloving or neglectful actions of another or from the over expectations we place upon another or from a little of both…perhaps even from our miss or rash judgement of another is the reason for our pain. Nonetheless, since we are beings made from love, we desire to be loved and when we aren’t loved, we are hurt and sometimes a lot. The more we love another or desire the love and approval of another, the greater the sting of their rejection or malice feels. King David was clear to explain his crushed heart, from a trusted friend who rejected him. His pain he simply couldn’t bear. (cf. Psalm   ). Imagine the pain which is inflicted upon God’s Sacred Heart, who loves us perfectly. Yet, day in and day out from our constant rejection of His love (grace), we hurt Him beyond our comprehension. And yet, when the smallest possibility arises that we might suffer like Christ and our hearts might become injured in the slightest way, we tuck our tail between our legs and run the other way. We don’t want the cross of Christ. We want to protect our pride instead.

Yet much of the time our crushed heart isn’t the result of not being loved in returned, it is from our “pride”  being crushed. Our pride is so great much of the time, we don’t even see the countless ways we seek to protect it and refuse to take a leap of courage to serve God and allow God if He wills, to have our hearts crushed so to grow in humility. We simply don’t want the pain and run from serving God in many ways because of it. We shudder at the thought of speaking to someone who is harsh and easily angered or doesn’t like us. We don’t pray for courage and do what is necessary to serve God rejoicing in the cross…no, if there is a way out, we take it. We are missing God’s wonderful gifts of gaining humility through the cross by having our hearts crushed.

Most are drowned in so much pride, and from being so successful at covering our sins, we are simply clueless of its great existence. Oh, we protect our pride and protect it, like I said, not just with avoiding any situation that could lead to pain (a crushed heart), but we prove it with our denial of our weaknesses too. We desire to be seen as good, pretty, all together, smart, successful, popular, etc. And we will do anything to avoid being seen otherwise. We will even lie to cover the truth of our imperfections, all to build up our pride (image). We won’t tolerate misunderstanding and being seen a guilty of something we didn’t do or less than who we feel we are. If such wrongful accusations are made, we run in and defend ourselves to prove we are right so our image isn’t tainted and we are seen for who we wish to declare ourselves to be.  Or we will back down and let someone bash us, not because we are fine with being squished by another, but because we don’t feel we are capable of properly defending ourselves and want to avoid even greater humiliations. Oh, but humiliations are our path to nothingness. In weakness, He is strong in us.

“Therefore, to keep me from being too elated [boastful], a thorn [humiliation] was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness [humiliations].” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9)

Sadly, we tend to love our power and image so much we won’t even allow ourselves to be in a compromising position to where our great intelligence and/or authority would be diminished. We don’t want to fail or be seen as broken or imperfect. We desire to be known as one with much knowledge, wisdom and faith, etc. and if we are in a group of people or around someone of seemingly greater knowledge, wisdom or faith, we won’t even risk answering a question, if asked, if we think we could be wrong so as to not be seen as unknowledgeable or less than them. We avoid embarrassment at all costs. And if we do think we are right, and are willing to answer a question not to love and participate in the group, we do it to prove our intellect and boost our confidence–from our pride–and then if we find out we are actually wrong, we are mortified that we errored and utterly embarrassed at our weakness. We surely don’t rejoice in our humbling experience but lean towards depression and not humility. Much of the time we won’t even admit our mistake and will continue to allow others to suffer (believe a wrongful truth) from our errors unless we are caught or forced to admit our mistake. We would rather others suffer than admit we are someone who errors. We greatly lack love and humility. Truly, we don’t want to be humbled; we don’t look of our errors and ways to apologize. We want to be flawless. It is as if we are allergic to apologizing or we only apologize from habit not true humility. There are just so many ways we protect our pride.

“The heart is devious above all else; it is perverse—who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

Impressing the Wrong God
Sadly, we are all into impressing the wrong god: others–to boost or keep our pride. But like with many of our sins, we don’t see it or find it acceptable behavior. We love our image, and we protect it as we try to impress and please others. Sadly, we are more focused on what man thinks of us than God in many aspects of our life. All we have to do is look and we can clearly see what are our intentions are for many of our actions. For instance, if we have company coming over, we run to clean up our house. We want to be seen as neat and tidy to others, but most are not working to improve and are OK if God knows we are living in a disorganized unclean mess. Most aren’t cleaning just to show love and respect to our valued guest, wanting to give them the best out of love…no, if we check our intentions for why we do what we do, we will see it is mostly so we won’t be embarrassed and have our “image” tainted by our less than perfect house. Here is another example: just say, we have to socialize with someone of high intellect and from our pride we feel inferior. We will either refuse to speak to them or feel the need to speak impressively, and we won’t even act like ourselves because we don’t want to be seen a less than them. We love our image and are willing to put on a front or not even be kind and respectful to that person all to keep our pride intact. We don’t want to become humbled. How many times has God asked us to serve Him, and we refuse because we don’t want to be seen as “uncool” or “unpopular.” Speak up in defense of the faith at work…can’t do that; what would my colleges think? Put a pro-life sign on my car…can’t do that, what would my neighbors think?…my car would look so uncool, can’t have my image tainted. As if saving lives isn’t worth tainting our “cool” image a little…see what the devil does, he distorts our priorities and makes our image–our pride–number one and keeps us far, very far from living for God alone.

If we sin and someone else sees us or corrects us, most of us are humiliated to be caught and appalled if someone speaks up about our wrong doing. Then much of the time we do all we can to defend our sin or come up with some excuse to try to justify it and perhaps we might even manipulate reality in our minds so we aren’t guilty or make it no big deal so as to feel no guilt, and won’t feel like or be seen as a wretched sinner. But we are. Have we not read the saints works? They rejoiced in having others see them as sinners so they wouldn’t become swelled in pride. They praised God for every opportunity to grow in humility. We need to look carefully into our actions so we don’t spend our day trying to impress the wrong god, leaving the one true God very disappointed in us.

Heart Crushed by Coming to Know Our True Sinfulness
If we are serious and truly want to grow in humility, we need to HONESTLY look into ourselves to come to know our misery. God will not reveal too much to us at once, as we simply can’t handle our true sinfulness. However, if we repeat this process over and over again (looking into our true intentions for what we do), imploring God’s grace in the sacraments (penance and if we truly want to sin no more, then the Holy Eucharist) for the strength to know and stop our sins, God will slowly enlighten us to the sinfulness within and give us the power to stop. I’m only going to bring to light some of our prideful ways…not every possible sin we could have ever committed, so we can at least see how grossly prideful we really are and not run around thinking we are humble, when we aren’t.

“We must never glance at what is good in ourselves, much less ponder over it, but we should search out what is wrong and what is lacking. This is an excellent way of remaining humble (St. Vincent de Paul).

To do this well, we should see how we are guilty for pretty much ALL of the prideful actions I am listing below to some degree at some point in our life–maybe even today. Truly we all commit them. The reason we don’t have humility is because we only see a very small handful of our sins which causes us to think of ourselves are “holy” or a good guy when in God’s eyes we are very far from it. If you find yourself saying, “I don’t do that” to pretty much any sin, then you still most likely don’t know how to look into your true actions and intentions to see how you do commit it. To some degree, we are guilty of practically every sin that falls under the 10 commandments. Yes, believe it or not, practically all of the sin, we have or are committing. Very few have been blessed with such magnificent grace to avoid breaking any of the commandments and because we don’t “see” our error or really understand what sin is or its consequences we lack humility, which leads to a lack of sorrow for them since we have been covering our guilt our entire life. We think our sins are not a real problem because they don’t seem serious.

And that is OK, at first. Just work on changing the sins you can see. However, the goal is to eventually find guilt, to some degree, with literally every one of these sins, because I promise you, if you are human, you have committed them if not today at some point in your life. Unless you have already been diligently working with God’s grace to abolish your prideful ways, because only then will God’s transforming mercy have removed some of you pride fullness in life, you will still frequently be commiting these sin.

I know the fact that we all sin these horrid sins, might be shocking to some, especially if we have been living deceived and thinking we hardly sin. But truly everyone, who is a mature adult, in some way has committed these sins and believe it or not some of them everyday, and some of them once in a while. But tragically we offend God and others by many crimes. If we don’t see them, we just aren’t enlightened to them yet.

Now the hard part is learning how to look into our thoughts, words and actions to actually see where we are committing such injuries to God and harming others, so we can have the hope to stop or at least gain humility. Those with greater pride issues will have a more serious problems with there prideful choices than others, but it really doesn’t matter to God how deeply engrossed in pride we are, as longs as we honestly want to stop our sinful ways, God is delighted with us and will send us the grace to change. We will grow in humility if we want too.

To come to know our prideful ways, I have written some prideful things we commonly do and some resolutions that can help us, along with God’s grace, to over come them:

Prideful ActionsResolutions/Solutions
Arrogant: Not open to advice from others, on certain subjects, especially from those “under” us. We want to be the one with the knowledge, because we have experience, education or just think we know better, etc.Find a child, an under educated person less than us or perhaps a homeless person…find someone who is well “beneath” us as far as status in society goes. Then love them, help them, do something they want and pray to God to teach you through them. Humble yourself seeking to learn. Ask them questions truly imploring God to learn through the least of His people, and I promise God will teach and teach you a lot. Your heart won’t be closed to God working through the unexpected any more. God will teach you how to always be the student even if you are literally the teacher. Surely you won’t think you are the only one with the knowledge any more or become closed or insulted when guidance is given from one of the least among us. And if we look for God to teach us through each situation, we will learn His blessed ways from everyone and every moment.
Jealous: Not happy for others accomplishments above ourselves. If someone else obtains the raise at work, or someone else does a better job at what we thought were gifted at, we are jealous instead of happy for their good work and praising God for them.Find
conclusion

I do want to mention that being humble doesn’t mean we lie to ourselves and give ourselves less gifts and talents than God has given us so we can seem to be nothing (having no talent). Being humble doesn’t in any way mean we are skill-less or skill-full. Gifts from God has nothing to do with humility. Becoming nothing, in no way means we have no abilities or no authority over others or lack accomplishments or knowledge, as God calls us to different jobs and gives us different abilities to serve Him. Being humble simply means we know of our great sinfulness and that leads us to truly understanding the great need for God’s mercy, while we give all praise and glory to God for any talents or even lack of talents we have knowing all we have and don’t have are gifts from God to use to serve Him for the salvation of souls. This understanding of our sinfulness leads us to feel absolutely unworthy for any blessing we have, and the greater the understand of our sinfulness develops, the more wretched we feel causing us to more fully understand God and His great patience, tolerance and love for us. We might actually, in God’s eyes, be more “holy” than  another but from this greater understanding of our misery, we only feel like the absolute least of God’s people, and more fully understand that without God moving our hand, nothing truly good can be accomplished through us…that on our own we are utterly nothing. This does not lead to depression but to a most perfect peaceful trust in God’s mercy to save.

Transformation through Confession

“One of the very best means of obtaining humility, is sincere and frequent confessions” (St. Philip Neri)

Frequent, sincere confession opens up the soul to everything it needs to honestly declare to God as St. Vincent Ferrer says, “Lord, my God, I am nothing, I am capable of myself of nothing but evil; I have never served Thee as I ought, and I confess that I am but an unprofitable servant.” That is the true humility we need to find a saving faith. And the blessed sacrament of reconciliation will bring us there.

more coming soon

[whohit]-How can I learn the sins I desire-[/whohit]