Feast of Saint Mark, Evangelist

“Beloved: clothe yourselves with humility” (1 Peter 5:5).  In order to appreciate the truth of this teaching, let us recall three examples of clothing and compare them to humility.

First: the emergency blanket, like the kind emergency response crews bring to survivors after a disaster.  What does the blanket bring to the survivor?  Warmth, principally, but it also brings proof that they are cared for.  How is humility like this?  Humility keeps us warm by destroying the cold of pride.  Furthermore, humility opens us up to being cared for by others.

A second comparison: humility is like formal attire.  For a special occasion, such as a wedding, formal attire carries a special meaning.  It shows us at our best, even if only superficially.  But deep down, we are truly at our best when we are closest to God, and it is humility that opens us up for such closeness.  “God opposes the proud, but bestows favor on the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).

A third comparison: humility is like the cap and gown.  At graduation ceremonies the students and faculty put on the traditional dress that connects them to previous generations of scholars.  But when we clothe ourselves with humility, we connect ourselves to previous generations of saints, such as St. Augustine, who said “you cannot attain to charity, except by humility,” and St. Teresa of Avila, who said “there is more value in a little study of humility and in a single act of it than in all the knowledge in the world.”

April 25th, 2016