How comfortable are you with understanding and applying the virtue of humility?
I read the following prayer for humility by St. Frances Cabrini this morning, and I'm still thinking about this. I believe humility is extremely important for us to accept the graces of God and live a life of holiness. Jesus said, ""Learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls" (Matthew 11:29). Most of the saints prayed for and displayed humility. Yet, we live in a society that values self-marketing of worth, assertiveness, competitiveness, communicating our accomplishments, and so forth. I have found an incredible difference in humility from business leaders in India and Asia Pacific compared to those here in the USA.
New Advent Encyclopedia describes Humility as follows: "The virtue of humility may be defined: "A quality by which a person considering his own defects has a lowly opinion of himself and willingly submits himself to God and to others for God's sake." St. Bernard defines it: "A virtue by which a man knowing himself as he truly is, abases himself." These definitions coincide with that given by St. Thomas: "The virtue of humility", he says, "Consists in keeping oneself within one's own bounds, not reaching out to things above one, but submitting to one's superior" (Summa Contra Gent., bk. IV, ch. lv, tr. Rickaby). "
How do you strike a balance between been humble and meek, and assertive enough to succeed in the business world? Or do we need to sacrifice one for the other? I know that you can do a good job as a humble leader, but that is different from been able to suceed and be placed in greater positions of responsibility...
Prayer for Humility
Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that you may fortify me with the grace of your Holy Spirit, and give your peace to my soul, that I may be free from all nedless anxiety and worry. Help me to desire always that which is pleasing and acceptable to you, so that your will may be my will.
Grant that I may be free from unholy desires, and that , for your love, I may remain obscure and unknown in this world, to be known only to you.
Do not permit me to attribute to myself the good that you perform in me and through me, but rather, referring all honor to you, may I admit only to my infirmities, so that renouncing sincerely all vainglory which comes from the world, I may aspire to that true and lasting glory that comes from you. Amen
St. Frances Cabrini