He has Looked with Favor on My Lowliness…The Virtue of Humility

(Douay Rheims Lk.1:46-49) My soul doth magnify the Lord and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior because He has regarded the humility of His handmaid…He that is mighty has done great things for me and holy is His Name.


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 needless 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



Lord, take away my pride.
Make me humble.
Let me not take glory in my own works.
But always remember Your love.



(In Conversation With God, volume four)

(Let us) fervently ask the Master, Dear Jesus, if I am to be an apostle You will need to make me very humble.

 Everything the sun touches is bathed in light, Lord, fill me with Your clarity, bathe me in Your divinity so that I may identify my will with Your adorable Will and become the instrument You wish me to be. Give me the madness to undergo the humiliation You underwent, which led You to be born poor, to work in obscurity, to endure the shame of  dying sewn by nails to a piece of wood, to Your self­ effacement in the Blessed Sacrament.  (St. Josemaria Escriva) 

Jesus washes the feet

A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his Master.  (Mt.10:24)

May I know myself: may I know myself and know You. I will then never lose sight of my nothingness. Only thus will I be able to follow You as You wish, and as I wish: with a deep faith, a great love and without placing any obstacles in the way.  51.2 The active nature of humility. In the account of the life of Saint Anthony, Abbot, it is said that God showed him the world beset with the snares the devil had prepared to entrap men. Following the vision, the saint was filled with fear, and asked, Lord, who can escape so many snares? And he heard a voice that answered, Anthony, he who is humble can escape for God gives his grace to the humble, but the proud fall into all the traps the devil sets.  Yet the devil does not dare to attack the humble man.   

John the Baptist

He must increase and I must decrease. (Jn.3:30)

If we want to serve the Lord, we must desire and ask for the virtue of humility with insistence. To truly desire this virtue, we should keep in mind that the opposite of humility – the capital sin of pride- is the greatest obstacle to the vocation we have received from the Lord. It is what harms family life and friendship, what opposes our true happiness most of all. It is the devil's foremost ally in our soul, with which he tries to undo the work that the Holy Spirit is constantly carrying out.  

Jesus and the children

 And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children,

you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Mt. 18:3)

Living the virtue of humility is not only a matter rejecting the motions of pride, selfishness and vanity. In fact, Jesus and Mary, who possessed the virtue of humility to the full, never experienced any inclination toward pride.

mother teresa

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Mt. 5:3)

The word 'humility' derives from the Latin word humus (soil or earth).  In practical

terms, it leads us to recognize our inferiority, our littleness and indigence before God. The saints experience great joy in becoming nothing before God, recognizing that only He is great and that all human greatness is, by comparison, empty and a lie.  Humility is based on truth and above all on the great truth that the distance between the creature and the Creator is infinite. That is why we should frequently take time to remind and persuade ourselves that everything good in us is from God, that all the good we have ever done has been suggested and brought to fruition by Him, with the help of His grace. 


Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. (Mt. 5:5)

We do not say a single aspira­tion without the impulse and grace of the Holy Spirit. Ours are the defects, sins and selfishness. Grace, on the other hand, makes our soul shine so that even the angels are awed by the brightness of the divine gift.  Humility has nothing to do with timidity, with fickleness or with a mediocre life lacking in ambition. Humility discovers that everything good in us, both in the order of nature and in the order of grace, belongs to God for from His fullness we have all received. And such pro­fusion of gifts moves us to be grateful.  


Instead, the greatest among you should be as the youngest.  (Lk. 22:26)

To the question, 'How shall I become humble?' corresponds the immediate answer, 'Through the grace of God'. '" Only the grace of God can give us a clear vision of our true condition and the awareness of the dignity that comes from humility.  That is why we should desire this virtue and ask for it incessantly, convinced that with it we shall love God and be capable of great enterprises despite our weakness …


Together with this petition , we should accept the humiliations – usually small – that may arise each day in different ways: during our work and in our dealings with others, when we are conscious of our weakness or make mistakes, great or small. We walk the way of humility when we accept humiliations, great or small, and when we accept our defects and struggle to overcome them.


Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many are fogiven  for she has loved much,

but he who is forgiven little, loves little. (Lk.7:47) 

He who is humble can do without praise or flattery in  his work because his hope is in the Lord, who is truly the source of all his riches and happiness and gives meaning to all he does. One of the reasons why men are so prone to praise one another, to overestimate their own value and abil­ities, to resent anything that tends to lower them in their own eyes or in the eyes of others, is that they see no hope for hap­piness outside themselves. That is why they are often so hypersensitive, so resentful when they are criticized, so upset by anyone who contradicts them, so insistent on getting their own way, so desirous of being well known, so anxious to be praised, so determined to control their surroundings. They secure themselves to themselves like a shipwrecked man holding on to a straw. And life goes on, and they move further and further away from happiness …

 He who struggles to be humble does not seek out praise, and if praises come, he tries to refer them instead to the glory of God, the author of all good things. Humility does not consist so much in despising oneself as in letting oneself, joyfully recognizing that we possess nothing that we have not received. It leads us to become God's little children, who find all their strength in the strong hand of their Father.  

Our Lady

Behold the handmaid of the Lord. (Lk. 1:38)


We learn to be humble by meditating on the Passion of our Lord, by considering His greatness in the face of many humiliations, allowing Himself as He did to be led like a sheep to its shearers, as had been prophesied; by considering His humility in the Holy Eucharist where He waits for us to visit Him and speak with Him, to be received by anyone who wants to attend the sacred Banquet He prepares for us daily; by considering His patience in the light of so many offences.


I am with you always, to the close of the age. (Mt. 28::20)


We will learn to walk the path of humility if we pay attention to Mary, the handmaid of the Lord, who had no other desire than to do the Will of God. We can also approach St. Joseph who spent his life serving Jesus and Mary, fulfilling the task that God had entrusted to him.


And she gave birth to her first-born son, wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger. (Lk.2:5)


Litany of Humility
Written by Cardinal Merry del Val. He was accustomed to recite this prayer daily after the celebration of Holy Mass.+

O Jesus meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, (R.)Deliver me, Jesus
From the desire of being loved, (R)
From the desire of being extolled, (R)
From the desire of being honored, (R)
From the desire of being praised, (R)
From the desire of being preferred to others, (R)
From the desire of being consulted, (R)
From the desire of being approved, (R)

From the fear of being humiliated, (R)
From the fear of being despised, (R)
From the fear of suffering rebukes, (R)
From the fear of being calumniated, (R)
From the fear of being forgotten, (R)
From the fear of being ridiculed, (R)
From the fear of being wronged, (R)
From the fear of being suspected,(R)

That others may be loved more than I, (R:Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.)
That others may be esteemed more than I, (R)
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase, and I may decrease,(R)
That others may be chosen and I set aside, (R)
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, (R)
That others may be preferred to me in everything, (R)
That others may become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I can. (R.) Amen. 


Pray for the grace of humility…but without humiliations!

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