Choose a topic from Part 2B:

161. Humility as a Species of Modesty

1. The tendencies of a man (that is to say, his appetites)need two types of virtue for their just regulation: one to supportthem in weakness, one to moderate them when they are inordinatelyimpulsive or strong. Humility is of the second type. It is thevirtue which restrains a man lest he be immoderate in his strivingto reach high goals.

2. Humility is in the appetitive order, not the knowingorder. It is a moral virtue, a will-virtue, not an intellectualvirtue.

3. Humility is not a pose. The humble man does not bow toall others as though they were in all respects superior to himself.But humility does honestly recognize that all good, all excellence,is inGod, and that all creatural good comes from God.Therefore, humility sees God in every fellowman, and bows to thatwhich is divine.

4. Humility is a virtue allied with temperance through themedium of the virtue of modesty, which is a part oftemperance.

5. So excellent and necessary a virtue is humility thatits rank is first after the theological virtues, the intellectualvirtues that regard reason itself, and the virtue of justice.

6. Humility is a moral virtue, not an intellectual one.But it does involve the knowledge that we are what we are, and arenot to think more of ourselves than facts warrant. And back of theact of humility is reverence for God. The inward disposition ofhumility has outward manifestations which, in many instances, areexpressive of modesty. Some writers, like St. Benedict in his Rule,enumerate degrees of humility according to inner disposition andouter sign.

"It is better to be burdened and in company with the strong than to be unburdened and with the weak. When you are burdened you are close to God, your strength, who abides with the afflicted. When you are relieved of the burden you are close to yourself, your own weakness; for virtue and strength of soul grow and are confirmed in the trials of patience."
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"Lord, here burn, here cut, and dry up in me all that hinders me from going to You, that You may spare me in eternity."
St Louis Bertrand

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"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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