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.

"When the devil has failed in making a man fall, he puts forward all his energies to create distrust between the penitent and the confessor, and so by little and little he gains his end at last."
St Philip Neri

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"A man should keep himself down, and not busy himself in mirabilibus super se."
St Philip Neri

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"Obedience is the true holocaust which we sacrifice to God on the altar of our hearts."
St Philip Neri

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