“It may be that an asceticism that is proper to religious orders could involve some rather eye-catching expressions of humility. But in the Work the exact opposite is the case. As our sanctity hinges on our work, we need to build up professional expertise and respect, and each of us will acquire, in his own job and social sphere, the dignity and good name we deserve, gained in honest competition with our professional colleagues. Our humility doesn’t entail being timid and shy, or lacking in daring in the field of noble human endeavor. With a supernatural spirit and a desire to serve – with a Christian spirit of service – we must strive to be among the best.
Some people without a genuine lay outlook on life understand humility as a lack of confidence, a kind of indecisiveness that stops them from doing things. They think it involves waiving their rights (sometimes even the rights of truth and justice) in order to avoid friction and disagreements, so that they can be nice to everyone. There will always be some who don’t understand our way of practicing a deep – and genuine – humility; they may even call it pride. The Christian concept of this virtue has been severely deformed, possibly because the various forms of humility that people have attempted to transfer onto secular society are really more suited to convents than to Christians whose vocation requires them to be at the crossroads of the world.
“The humility which the Work asks of us goes very deep. It is a direct result of the contemplative contemplation (without interruption). It brings with it the profound conviction that its God our Father who does everything, while using us as the poor instruments that we are: Servi inutiles sumus (we are unworthy servants). He plays with each of us as with a child: ludens in orbe terrarium et deliciae meae esse cum filiis hominum (playing on the face of the earth and my delight is to be with the sons of men).
“How great the value of humility! Quia respexit humilitatem…It is not of her faith, nor of her charity, nor of her immaculate purity that our Mother speaks in the house of Zachary. Her joyful hymn sings, ‘Since he has looked on my humility, all generations will call me blessed” (The Way #598).