St. Josemaria’s 17 Signs of a Lack of Humility

Humility is a virtue which we all ought to develop to bring ourselves in greater conformity with Christ as we seek ‘to temper and restrain the mind, lest it tend to high things immoderately.’

St. Josemaria Escriva.

Listers from the moment our Holy Father Pope Francis stepped onto the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s square, his manners and style were hailed as humble. Humility is a virtue which we all ought to develop to bring ourselves in greater conformity with Christ as we seek “to temper and restrain the mind, lest it tend to high things immoderately.”1

Mother of Fair Love, a gift of Josemaría Escrivá to the University of Navarra: John Paul II stated: “Love for our Lady is a constant characteristic of the life of Josemaría Escrivá.” – Wikipedia


Below is an excerpt from the writings of St. Josemaria which can help us identify a lack of humility in ourselves.


Allow me to remind you that among other evident signs of a lack of humility are:

  1. Thinking that what you do or say is better than what others do or say
  2. Always wanting to get your own way
  3. Arguing when you are not right or — when you are — insisting stubbornly or with bad manners
  4. Giving your opinion without being asked for it, when charity does not demand you to do so
  5. Despising the point of view of others
  6. Not being aware that all the gifts and qualities you have are on loan
  7. Not acknowledging that you are unworthy of all honour or esteem, even the ground you are treading on or the things you own
  8. Mentioning yourself as an example in conversation
  9. Speaking badly about yourself, so that they may form a good opinion of you, or contradict you
  10. Making excuses when rebuked
  11. Hiding some humiliating faults from your director, so that he may not lose the good opinion he has of you
  12. Hearing praise with satisfaction, or being glad that others have spoken well of you
  13. Being hurt that others are held in greater esteem than you
  14. Refusing to carry out menial tasks
  15. Seeking or wanting to be singled out
  16. Letting drop words of self-praise in conversation, or words that might show your honesty, your wit or skill, your professional prestige…
  17. Being ashamed of not having certain possessions…

St. Josemaria, pray for us!

The Way, The Furrow, The Forge by St. Josemaria Escriva
Buy “The Way, The Furrow, The Forge (Single Volume Edition)” by St. Josemaria Escriva on Amazon.

  1. Summa Theologicae, Secunda Secundae Question 161 []
  • June1

    This is powerful. Maybe we should all print it out and do a self-check everyday. Thank you for posting.

    • Suzanne Mary

      Thank you for the timely reminder via St Josemaria.It strikes right to the heart. I HAVE printed it out. Now to follow it!!!

  • Lori

    excellent list! Practical shepherding of the flock-love it!

  • Irenic

    Beautiful. Without extreme humility, the gifts of life simply do not manifest. Focusing on God and neighbour is the basis of everything.

  • Mrs. C in FL

    yeah, I like it. I’m going to use it. Thanks St Josemaria for sharing. Thanks God for St Josemaria.

  • DJW

    I am a practicing Roman Catholic who thinks that perhaps many of the saints suffered from a well developed form of masochism! I agree on MOST of the points but wish to point out that number 8 and number 12 are ones that I completely disagree with completely BECAUSE of four reasons: 1. Too many Catholic saints have openly preached or were quoted as we were as lowly as “worms!”. If I am created in the image and likeness of God (The Old and New Testament) and if I am a son/daughter of God I refuse to use “reverse pride” which this false humility IS IN REALITY! 2. Self-Esteem does NOT come from today’s psychology movements but what God the Father said about man/woman made in his image! 3. Common Sense, so sorely lacking in many fields of today……even in religious teachings!! 4. And how many conversations do YOU know between two or MORE people don’t EVER use or refer to the I or ME . Anything less shows NO common sense and is plain ridiculous and false.

    As for Number 12….I don’t know about YOU, but if I must feel bad when someone compliments me or my work and I have to feel that I don’t have that right to feel good about myself than I feel some “saint” missed the boat completely! There is a fine line between self esteem and pride/narcism; but I know when, most of the time which camp I am in. Again, I feel that since I am in the image of God, part of that image refers to KNOWING your strong points, weaknesses, and accomplishments! Imagine…going to a job interview because YOU were conditioned to NOT speak well of yourself and your accomplishments! Again, where is the common sense???? Basically, YOU know when You over stepped the boundaries of humility and into the realms of pride, narcism, or arrogance! Humility DOES NOT mean you have to denigrate yourself in front of others no matter WHO they are! Humility involves knowing your capabilities, strengths, weaknesses, downfalls and respecting others and their rights. It also means that I have the right to “toot my horn when my accomplishments are recognized as being truthful, worthy, and prized by both myself and others!

    • Sean O’Rahilly


      I’m offering today’s Rosary in the hope that you will re-read – even study – St. Josemaria’s list, see the wisdom in it, and accept that wisdom with humility.

      • enness

        That’s very…erm…humble of you. ;)

        I also question 8 and 12. Can one not graciously accept and appreciate a compliment without letting it go to one’s head? And what’s wrong with personal experience as an example — what if you have no other to illustrate a point?

        • Maria

          All good things that we do are God given graces. Remember what Jesus plainly said: “Without me, you can do nothing.” Therefore, when someone compliments us for having served God in a worthy manner, the credit is not ours. It is OK to feel good because God’s will has been done and His Kingdom is near, knowing that all the glory is His, not ours! We don’t have to feel like worms, we are just “useless servants” who did what had to be done. That is the reason that we never have any right to “toot our horns”. Without God we cannot even take in a breath of air. Having said that, we must also remember that Jesus did call His followers “friends” and not servants anymore, but that was when they left everything to follow Him faithfully, even to be martyrs for the truth. Blessings. +

        • Jozef

          Good point, Enness. Pride always has a way to sneak in through the back door. As soon as somebody tells you to be humble, run the other way.

      • JoNi

        Saints are not infallible — there is certainly some wiggle room here. All good points for reflection, but none are commands from God nor doctrinal points of the Church.
        Perhaps #’s 1 and 5 could use some review?

        • Jim Albert

          should there not be distinctions made in some of these?

          Can one not see the potential for great misunderstandings in such a list without such distinctions?

          • Patrick

            Three words: “SAINT Jose Maria”

    • Amelia R.

      THANK YOU. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who thought this way.

    • Lizzie

      You are right that humility does not mean you have to denigrate yourself, but neither does it mean you have to praise yourself. The point is to truly get to the place where you have died to the self and none of that stuff matters. If you think this list is hard, check out Cardinal Merry de Val’s Litany of Humility, or St. Benedicts Rule on Humility. They are more extreme even than this list. The goal of humility is death to the self and if you are guilty of #12 (which I most assuredly am) then you are experiencing the opposite of humility, which is pride.

    • W MD


      Psalm 22

      Revised Standard Version (RSV)

      Plea for Deliverance from Suffering and Hostility

      To the choirmaster: according to The Hind of the Dawn. A Psalm of David.

      22 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
      Why art thou so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
      2 O my God, I cry by day, but thou dost not answer;
      and by night, but find no rest.

      3 Yet thou art holy,
      enthroned on the praises of Israel.
      4 In thee our fathers trusted;
      they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
      5 To thee they cried, and were saved;
      in thee they trusted, and were not disappointed.

      6 But I am a worm, and no man;
      scorned by men, and despised by the people.
      7 All who see me mock at me,
      they make mouths at me, they wag their heads;
      8 “He committed his cause to the Lord; let him deliver him,
      let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”

      9 Yet thou art he who took me from the womb;
      thou didst keep me safe upon my mother’s breasts.
      10 Upon thee was I cast from my birth,
      and since my mother bore me thou hast been my God.
      11 Be not far from me,
      for trouble is near
      and there is none to help.

      12 Many bulls encompass me,
      strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
      13 they open wide their mouths at me,
      like a ravening and roaring lion.

      14 I am poured out like water,
      and all my bones are out of joint;
      my heart is like wax,
      it is melted within my breast;
      15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
      and my tongue cleaves to my jaws;
      thou dost lay me in the dust of death.

      16 Yea, dogs are round about me;
      a company of evildoers encircle me;
      they have pierced[a] my hands and feet—
      17 I can count all my bones—
      they stare and gloat over me;
      18 they divide my garments among them,
      and for my raiment they cast lots.

      19 But thou, O Lord, be not far off!
      O thou my help, hasten to my aid!
      20 Deliver my soul from the sword,
      my life[b] from the power of the dog!
      21 Save me from the mouth of the lion,
      my afflicted soul[c] from the horns of the wild oxen!

      22 I will tell of thy name to my brethren;
      in the midst of the congregation I will praise thee:
      23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
      all you sons of Jacob, glorify him,
      and stand in awe of him, all you sons of Israel!
      24 For he has not despised or abhorred
      the affliction of the afflicted;
      and he has not hid his face from him,
      but has heard, when he cried to him.

      25 From thee comes my praise in the great congregation;
      my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
      26 The afflicted[d] shall eat and be satisfied;
      those who seek him shall praise the Lord!
      May your hearts live for ever!

      27 All the ends of the earth shall remember
      and turn to the Lord;
      and all the families of the nations
      shall worship before him.[e]
      28 For dominion belongs to the Lord,
      and he rules over the nations.

      29 Yea, to him[f] shall all the proud of the earth bow down;
      before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
      and he who cannot keep himself alive.
      30 Posterity shall serve him;
      men shall tell of the Lord to the coming generation,
      31 and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,
      that he has wrought it.

      Psalm 139

      Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

      Psalm 139

      To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

      1 O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
      2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising,
      thou understandest my thought afar off.
      3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down,
      and art acquainted with all my ways.
      4 For there is not a word in my tongue,
      but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
      5 Thou hast beset me behind and before,
      and laid thine hand upon me.
      6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
      it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

      7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit?
      or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
      8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there:
      if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
      9 If I take the wings of the morning,
      and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
      10 even there shall thy hand lead me,
      and thy right hand shall hold me.
      11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me;
      even the night shall be light about me.
      12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day:
      the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

      13 For thou hast possessed my reins:
      thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
      14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
      marvellous are thy works;
      and that my soul knoweth right well.
      15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret,
      and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
      16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect;
      and in thy book all my members were written,
      which in continuance were fashioned,
      when as yet there was none of them.
      17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God!
      how great is the sum of them!
      18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand:
      when I awake, I am still with thee.

      19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God:
      depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
      20 For they speak against thee wickedly,
      and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
      21 Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee?
      and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
      22 I hate them with perfect hatred:
      I count them mine enemies.

      23 Search me, O God, and know my heart:
      try me, and know my thoughts:
      24 and see if there be any wicked way in me,
      and lead me in the way everlasting.

      Micah 7

      Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

      7 Woe is me!
      for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits,
      as the grapegleanings of the vintage:
      there is no cluster to eat:
      my soul desired the firstripe fruit.
      2 The good man is perished out of the earth:
      and there is none upright among men:
      they all lie in wait for blood;
      they hunt every man his brother with a net.

      3 That they may do evil with both hands earnestly,
      the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward;
      and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire:
      so they wrap it up.
      4 The best of them is as a brier:
      the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge:
      the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh;
      now shall be their perplexity.

      5 Trust ye not in a friend,
      put ye not confidence in a guide:
      keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.
      6 For the son dishonoureth the father,
      the daughter riseth up against her mother,
      the daughter in law against her mother in law;
      a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.
      7 Therefore I will look unto the Lord;
      I will wait for the God of my salvation:
      my God will hear me.

      8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy:
      when I fall, I shall arise;
      when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.
      9 I will bear the indignation of the Lord,
      because I have sinned against him,
      until he plead my cause,
      and execute judgment for me:
      he will bring me forth to the light,
      and I shall behold his righteousness.
      10 Then she that is mine enemy shall see it,
      and shame shall cover her which said unto me,
      Where is the Lord thy God? mine eyes shall behold her:
      now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets.
      11 In the day that thy walls are to be built,
      in that day shall the decree be far removed.
      12 In that day also he shall come even to thee from Assyria,
      and from the fortified cities,
      and from the fortress even to the river,
      and from sea to sea,
      and from mountain to mountain.
      13 Notwithstanding the land shall be desolate
      because of them that dwell therein,
      for the fruit of their doings.

      14 Feed thy people with thy rod,
      the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood,
      in the midst of Carmel:
      let them feed in Bashan and Gilead,
      as in the days of old.
      15 According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt
      will I shew unto him marvellous things.

      16 The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might:
      they shall lay their hand upon their mouth,
      their ears shall be deaf.
      17 They shall lick the dust like a serpent,
      they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth:
      they shall be afraid of the Lord our God,
      and shall fear because of thee.

      18 Who is a God like unto thee,
      that pardoneth iniquity,
      and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage?
      he retaineth not his anger for ever,
      because he delighteth in mercy.
      19 He will turn again,
      he will have compassion upon us;
      he will subdue our iniquities;
      and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
      20 Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob,
      and the mercy to Abraham,
      which thou hast sworn unto our fathers
      from the days of old.

      • Bill


    • W MD


      PSALM 139
      …14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
      marvellous are thy works;
      and that my soul knoweth right well.


      PSALM 22
      1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
      Why art thou so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
      2 O my God, I cry by day, but thou dost not answer;
      and by night, but find no rest.

      3 Yet thou art holy,
      enthroned on the praises of Israel.
      4 In thee our fathers trusted;
      they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
      5 To thee they cried, and were saved;
      in thee they trusted, and were not disappointed.

      6 But I am a worm, and no man;
      scorned by men, and despised by the people.


    • Martha Laverde

      Re Number 12: Your thoughts are well expressed and I believe you are right in the sense that humility is knowing yourself, your strengths and weaknesses and putting your strengths at the service of the Kingdom of God. Having learned about St. Jose Maria, I think the sentence is “too short” I believe this point refers to the emotion aroused in you when you hear good things about you. If it is recognition and satisfaction, it is positive and even great; if it is Pride and Feeling that you Are The Best… then this emotion is contrary to Humility. One thing is self esteem and another is egolatry which is becoming so common nowadays.

    • Those who object to St Josemaría’s enumeration of number 8 can rest assured that he had a profound understanding of his dignity as a son of God. In fact, he insisted that “divine filiation” was the basis of his entire spirituality, and the spirituality of Opus Dei.

      As for number 12, I don’t disagree with those who are raising objections to this, and nor would St Josemaría. They are making a good point. A straight-forward list is always going to generalise at the expense of nuance. C.S. Lewis treats this point in great detail in his Screwtape Letters.

      Great post!

    • RWTP

      I think The Queen (Elizabeth II) is a great example of humility. She acknowledges gratitude and praise, but rather than wallow, as a matter of graciousness, she moves on to another topic or turns the attention back on the other. Everyone loves the smell of a good fart, but to linger longer than is necessary makes one obsessive and conceited. Not very attractive.

    • Ioannis

      Well, the Christian life is meant to be difficult. And yet his yoke is light, since it is not by our powers that we are perfected. ;) May we have the grace to cooperate with grace!

      PS I do all 17 of them all the time. Lord, have mercy!

    • Scott Blackwood

      I’m sure that you’re being sincere. But the truth is that we ARE worms in reality – anything good in or about us comes from God and not us, period. So to speak highly of one’s own accomplishments/talents/good qualities is to imply that they don’t come from God. Instead of “thanks be to my good qualities” we should say “thanks be to God.” This is the sort of concept that the saints have always preached.

      • Aunt Raven

        Hello, context is everything. One should be a humble servant in one’s family and according to one’s vocation. A nun should consider herself a silent and willing slave to her rule for the love of her divine spouse.
        The father of a family has the duty to lovingly assert his authority preferablely through persuasion– over his children and wife if he sees them making immoral life choices. It would be a sin for him not practics leadership and even cite his own life as example for his family.
        Humility is subjective congruence with objective truth. At a job interview you are required to truthfully tell all your talents, experience, and successes in order to obtain honest employment. Presenting yourself as “a lowly worm” is inappropriate and exactly what God wouldn’t want you to do.
        The virtue of prudence is required for the right practice of humility.
        And don’t forget St Jose Maria was formed in a Spanish culture which needs a different nuance when his rules are pondered by those of different cultures.
        Cardinal Merry del Val’s litany of humility is more psychologically nuanced and easier to absorb– it is a prayer rather than a rather list whose style comes across as “school rules”

  • Wandering

    I am guilty of every. single. one. of them. *sigh*

  • ACCV

    I think that “hearing praise with satisfaction” is not always a lack of humility. It is if I smugly pat myself on the back and think “yes, I am really great.” On the other hand, the Psalmist jubilantly prays to God in the spirit of true humility, “I give you thanks that I am wonderfully made.” [cf. Psalm 139(138)] Therefore, when someone praises me or my accomplishments, I rejoice in the Lord who has made me in His image and likeness and who gives me His gifts and grace to do His will and His work. Not to acknowledge God’s goodness, mercy and love is pride.

  • Patricia

    I also agree that hearing praise with satisfaction is not always a lack of humility. I think it takes social grace to accept a compliment graciously and shows maturity.
    And everyone needs to be told once in a while that they have done a good job, or are attractive.

  • Lety Mognet

    You know, it’s not that is bad if the love of your life calls you beautiful and you feel happy, but it is a bad thing if we are looking constantly for other people’s praises. We should be careful to not become too fond of those kind of words, because the world not always congratulates the good things we do. Sometimes we need to go against the public opinion for the sake of what is correct.

  • Rob Harsell

    “Signs”, like little indicators. “HELP us identify”.. dosent say rules and regulations. Keep it in proper perspective. Im sure the awareness is there that we are all human beings, and will always be far from perfect, as a matter of fact, perfectly imperfect… I think its a good guideline to keep in mind in striving to be a better more balanced person. Not to go too far above or below but to try and find an even keel with how we carry ourselves and treat others…. I will never “master the art of humility”….but if I keep workin to do just a little better then im heading in a good direction.
    Thanks for giving my soul some good food .

  • pat higson

    after 2 years of training to become a reader in the church of england i was told that my vicar would not support me any more she told me i had no humility.
    if i wanted to continue with my course i had to seek a new church i have tried really hard to forgive her but i cant forget the words she said to me.
    and now i have the opertunity to carry on with my course and after reading the writings of St. Josemaria which can help us identify a lack of humility in ourselves. i dont think i can carry on i feel guilty of each one of these 17 signs.

    • wendy


      • Joan

        Have you reached the end?

  • Madeleine Myers

    Sometimes you mention yourself as an example in order to make the other feel that he or she is not alone, or to express empathy. But the entire list serves as a reminder that sanctity is elusive, and requires high maintenance and constant vigilance, and the devil will be just the other side of the door.

  • As with almost all communication, soundbites get misunderstood and a more complete explanation is necessary. Take no. 1:”Thinking that what you do or say is better than what others do or say.” While this may at first seem like a no brainer, what if–in reality–what you are saying IS better than what another person is saying. Let us take an absolute truth. If one is to argue that marriage should be between one man and one woman and another is arguing that same sex couples have a right to be married, what you are saying IS BETTER than the other person. This isn’t pride, it is fact. It would be both wrong and false humility to acquiesce to the person you are debating saying, “What I am arguing isn’t better than what you are arguing.” We need to take these spiritual notes and put them in the context of wisdom and prudence.

    Again look at point #5 “Despising the point of view of others.” What if someone is attempting to convince your son that he should not remain a virgin until he is married or someone is trying to convince your daughter she needs to have an abortion?

    These suggestions for weeding out pride need to be checked with the reality of the situation. If you suffer from severe lack of appreciation and someone praises you publicly–perhaps you worked tirelessly at your job for 25 years and everyone gives you a great big hand of applause, that BETTER make you feel good. Each one of these are to keep an eye on your heart. Remember St. Josemaria wasn’t infallible. These are some suggestions.

    • W MD


  • Jp

    #12 is a tough one, it is difficult not to “feel” glad when others speak good of you.

    • W MD

      The Lord makes me say: “Praise GOD!” whenever SOMEONE GIVES ME A COMPLIMENT.<3++

  • I know that St. Josemaria was far closer to God than I am – and I suspect that’s true of most people here – so maybe we should take his words to heart instead of dismissing them.

    If you look at the lives of the saints, they often go against “common sense” – they take risks and make radical decisions than can defy what most people think of as “reasonable.” Look at Jesus – how is it “common sense” for him not to defend himself when he was insulted and tortured? Yet we are called to follow in his footsteps.

    Looking at the points – hearing praise with satisfaction is a sign of a lack of humility, since everything we are and have comes from God. If we are self-satisfied and attribute anything good to ourselves, this takes away from God’s glory. I’m not saying it’s a horrible sin – just a lack of the humility that could be there.

    Similarly with mentioning ourselves in conversation – it indicates that our thoughts revolve around ourselves. Try refraining from doing this and it can be painful – because we think we are something, when in fact we are not. The humble person doesn’t think of himself as an example and knows that he doesn’t deserve any praise – only God does. He takes satisfaction and joy in God, not himself.

    • JoNi

      No one is “dismissing” his words, but discussing them. There is a difference, and the discussion is good.
      The words of all saints are to be taken in for reflection and consideration.

    • WENDY


  • Thomas Lee

    If a person said accomplished all that list are they then still humble? It seems the best approach is to recognize Christ as the humble one and are we justified and sanctified by his grace and mercy.

  • wendy

    ANOTHER THING: sometimes one is most humble, most accused of pride. This is the case when THE LORD has insisted on a point to be raised and one puts oneself out of the picture ENTIRELY to relay HIS point and others accuse one of acting proudly as JESUS was accused of acting proudly. If I spoke on my own behalf, he said, to paraphrase, you would accept me–but because I say I speak for the Father,….they were enraged at him; the same occurs TODAY. If one said one FELT…LIKE doing a thing–differently from what someone else were doing–then the other person might likely forgive and accept that, but if one said GOD were preventing you from doing what the other was doing THEN LIKE PERSON WOULD LIKELY BE…ENRAGED; CONVICTING… And one is accused of being proud when one is DELIVERING THE MESSAGE GOD ASKED…<3+++

  • Ophelia

    I think the main point/ overarching theme in all of these, is that all good comes from God. As Saint Josemaria used to say, God is the painter and we are the paintbrushes. Knowing that all our talents, gifts etc come from God, helps us to be humble. That while we co-operate with God, all good does come from Him.

    Also he isn’t talking about the first reaction – i.e. that a thought comes into our mind but more dialoguing with that thought.. The first might be a temptation the second is probably a sin if we indulge those thoughts…dwell on them, draw on other memories for self-confirmation etc etc

    Also, he never said in 5. a truth, he said point of view i.e. something where there is a legitimate subjectivity involved. For example, economic issues.

    Some context and knowledge of how the author writes will help intepret these points and I encourage you all to do so because he will one day be a doctor of the Church! Just watch – you read it here first :) Also remember this is a translation from Spanish, which sometimes can slightly alter meaning!

  • ophelia

    “If a person said accomplished all that list are they then still humble? It seems the best approach is to recognize Christ as the humble one and are we justified and sanctified by his grace and mercy.”

    Hi Thomas,

    Absolutely. I don’t think St Josemaria is saying that we shouldn’t do exactly that. In fact, if you go to his other writings you will see that he is very clear on this point. However, that doesn’t mean we should stop struggling to love though i.e. make some personal effort to love (although we all know that Christ does pretty much all of the work in conforming us to Himself)!

  • Leliwa

    16 – how about job interviews?
    Praising ourselves is not good, but if something is achieved it is and especially with education it needs to be acknowledged in many situations. But yes humility is important.

  • do you know that a false prophet in the end times will be seen as a humble being.according to the messages given to maria divine mercy,the false prophet will be een humble one but guilt of the sin of pride.try to visit this website

  • Tom H

    In response to several comments, these are signs that one may not be humble, not certain indicators. It’s a very good list, but it still takes discernment on the part of each. If you find any of these in yourself, it should give you pause and encourage reflection. But it does not automatically mean you are proud.

  • Barbara

    I think that having recourse to daily prayer is of vital importance as God Himself will lead and fashion us into humble beings. He is the Divine Teacher so I try not to be concerned about what humility is or isn’t. I trust that God answers prayers and He will grant what I ask for as long as what I ask for is good for me. So if a person desires to be humble he absolutely must ask for it every day. “Jesus, meek and humble of heart make my heart like unto Thine.”

  • Deb

    I think that for the most part, we have no ability to actually fathom the immense greatness of God. We are not capable of knowing Him in all His glory because we have no frame of reference in our pathetic little intellects. Saints have most likely been given the touch of God in a manner that we have not. If one is blessed to have been made aware of even a microscopic amount of God’s power, they have no recourse but to refer to themselves as a worm. A comparison that is fitting in the context of our relationship with the Lord. I am not referring to God’s grace or the movement of the Holy Spirit. These things are experienced by many who are not saints. I am talking about a different touch. One will never see that or understand it fully until God gives them that awareness. So, maybe most of us will never truly become as humble as the saints, unless that is what God wills for us. It is the goal however or should be, for everyone.

  • Deb

    P.S Stay away from false prophets such as Maria divine mercy. She is not of Christ. Those who try to snare others to concentrate on the end times is only turning their eyes from the present and the joy of knowing heaven on earth, in this moment.

  • Dustin

    How pathological. This list should be titled, “How to let others take advantage of you.”

    • Bee bee

      Yes, Dustin, Jesus’ teachings ARE counter-cultural, counter-intuitive, and counter-worldly. He teaches them exactly because THIS is the ONLY way to peace, for individuals and for mankind. Christians are given these ideals to (attempt to) do exactly all these things, as a spiritual practice, because they are like GOD ACTS, they are imitation of the Almighty. Yep, fools to the world are we Christians. Even you see that.

      • Janet Baker

        Dustin has a point. With all due respect to Saint Jose, his suggestions are not infallible dogma. Just because something is “counter-cultural” doesn’t mean that it’s authentically Catholic.

  • Carlo

    What a powerful conviction. St. Josemaria, pray for us!!

  • Annette

    Oopsie is all I can think of to say :-) May Our Lady be with me on my road to humility, for after I read this list I realize I need to go to her for help improve in this area. Thank you, for personally I find I am only at peace when I am truly humble. The Saints are so good at giving us the tools to be pleasing to God in our daily lives. God Bless you!

  • Carolyn

    Regarding the saints who referred to themselves as “worms”, it is important to put their writings into the cultural context in which they lived. They wrote at a time when women were considered second class citizens and whose testimony in court could not stand on its own. Many of these female saints had mystical experiences that were thought to be suspect and along with their writings, subject to the Inquisitors. They severely humbled themselves in order that the beautiful truths they were experiencing might be shared on the merits of the revelation and not upon the fact that a “mere womam” penned them.

  • Bee bee

    Well, I can tell I have a ways to go in becoming humble because it seems to me #8. “Mentioning yourself as an example in conversation” such as, ‘well, I change the oil in MY car every 6 months’ doesn’t seem like bragging to me, just informing someone else of a practice of mine. But okay, it’s pride.
    And the other one, #12 “Hearing praise with satisfaction, or being glad that others have spoken well of you.” Well, if someone were to say, “what a beautiful garden you have” and then hearing the person has said to someone else about me, “X certainly is a wonderful gardener” certainly I would feel a certain amount of satisfaction and good feelings since I know the amount of thought and work that went into making the garden beautiful. To revel in it, to take it as if I become “all that”, to not give God His place in making it so, would be wrong, but to acknowledge a job well done on my part, well, modesty is called for, certainly, but if I should not feel happiness, satisfaction, or pride in having succeeded at something I have worked hard for, well, I guess I have a long, long way to go.

  • Jean

    I don’t know folks, I think most of these are part of the normal human condition. I’m afraid now to give an opinion without having been asked for it, but honestly, I think humility is much simpler than this. It means to naturally think of the other before oneself; to be heroically patient with others because one sees themselves in the other’s weaknesses and failings…so loving them comes easy; to realize one has failed in virtue many more times than having succeeded and therefore are utterly dependent upon God’ mercy; and finally, that one realizes everything comes from God including our gifts, skills, abilities, intellectual capacity, and personality traits and so we can claim ownership of nothing, seeing everything we have as a gift from God we are obliged to share with or for our neighbor. Moreover, humility recognizes God’s sovereignty over our lives to such a degree that we submit to all situations and all thinks with gratitude to God, knowing He knows better what is good for us that we do. As for that list, you can throw it in the rubbish as far as I am concerned. If you aren’t in the state of mind I just described (which I am not), than you are not yet fully humble.

  • Aunt Raven

    I have a devout Catholic elder family member who positively meets all the observable traits St Josemaria lists, barring the one about deceiving a spiritual director which of course I cannot know :-)

    That said, this person has suffered from life-long depression and caused much burden & suffering to other family members caring for them.
    This checklist would suggest that a depressive neurosis resulting in poor self-esteem might be a gift of God making them a saint, and contributing to the sanctity of others.

    This is a disturbing thought, but God works in mysterious ways: so that even someone with mental illness or personality disorder can reach high sanctity. (see: St Christina the Amazing)

  • Thomas

    I am proud of My Humility

  • maggie galalgher

    I have problems accepting 7 and 12. 12 seems to me to be the refusal of a gift of affection. Someone wanted to please you by praising you. Refusing to be pleased could be a sign of egoism–you are above being pleased by them. It is like asking a mother not to be pleased by her child’s extravagant love of her. 7 seems indistinguishable to me from depression. Perhaps when one is in union with God to a much higher degree than I have ever been it is a healthy spiritual reaction.

  • fort5569

    the false humility of religiousity is far more decietful and concerning to me than any lack of such, taht is especially true of the false theologies of this era both within and outside the Church