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ON HUMILITY

Keep yourselves, my daughters, from that false humility which the devil suggests concerning the greatness of your sins.  For hereby he is wont to disquiet our souls after sundry sorts, and to draw us off Holy Communion, and also from prayer.  It is sometimes a great and a true humility to esteem ourselves as bad as may be, but at other times it is a false and a spurious humility.  I know it, for I have experienced it.  True humility, however great, does not disquiet nor disorder the soul.  It comes with great peace, and great serenity, and great delight.  Though we should see our utter wickedness, and how truly we deserve to be in hell, and think that both God and man must despise and abhor us; yet, if this be a true humility, it comes with a certain sweetness and satisfaction attending it.  This humility does not stifle nor crush the soul.  It rather dilates the soul, and disposes the soul for the better service of God.  While that other sorrow troubles all, and confounds all, and destroys all.  It is the devil’s humility when he gets us to distrust God.  When you find yourselves thus, lay aside all thinking on your own misery, and meditate on the infinite mercy of God, and on the inexhaustible merit and grace of Jesus Christ.

I was once considering what the reason was why our Lord loved humility in us so much, when I suddenly remembered that He is essentially the Supreme Truth, and that humility is just our walking in the truth.  For it is a very great truth that we have no good in us, but only misery and nothingness, and he who does not understand this walks in lies: but he who understands this the best is the most pleasing to the Supreme Truth.  May God grant us this favour, sisters, never to be without the humbling knowledge of ourselves.

O Sovereign Virtues!  O Ladies of all the creatures!  O Empresses of the whole world!  Whoever hath you may go forth and fight boldly with all hell at once.  Let your soldiers not fear, for victory is already theirs.  They only fear to displease God.  They constantly beseech Him to maintain all the virtues in them.  It is true these virtues have this property, to hide themselves from him who possesses them, so that he never sees them in himself, nor thinks that he can ever possess a single one of them.  Other men see all the virtues in him, but he so values them that he still pursues them, and seeks them as something never to be attained by such as he is.  And Humility is one of them, and is Queen and Empress and Sovereign over them all.  In fine, one act of true humility in the sight of God is of more worth than all the knowledge, sacred and profane, in the whole world.

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