“Humility is the mother of all virtues. It is in being humble that our love becomes real, devoted and ardent. If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are. If you are blamed you will not be discouraged. If they call you a saint you will not put yourself on a pedestal.” St. Teresa of Calcutta (1910 – 1997)
Mother Teresa may be one of the most recognized models of humility in modern times. There is much we can learn from her. She offered this 15 point guide for the practice of humility:
- Speak as little as possible about yourself.
- Keep busy with your own affairs and not those of others.
- Avoid curiosity about things that should not concern you.
- Do not interfere in the affairs of others.
- Accept small irritations with good humor.
- Do not dwell on the faults of others.
- Accept censures even if unmerited.
- Give in to the will of others.
- Accept insults and injuries.
- Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded.
- Be courteous and considerate even when provoked.
- Do not seek to be admired and loved.
- Do not protect yourself behind your own dignity.
- In discussions give in, even when you are right, except when the salvation of another is at stake.
- Choose always the more difficult task.
Did some of the items on this list make you a bit uncomfortable? There is another guiding quote from Mother Teresa that will ease the discomfort. “Learn to be humble by doing the humble work and doing it for Jesus. You cannot learn humility from books; you learn it by accepting humiliations. Humiliations are not meant to torture us; they are gifts from God. These little humiliations – if we accept them with joy – will help us to be holy, to have a meek and humble heart like Jesus.”