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St. Ephrem the Syrian: On Humility

January 29, 2010

Real humility is this

To consider oneself to be
the most sinful of all sinners
and that one has done nothing good before God.
The blame to oneself at every opportunity
and in any place and in every act
Not blaming anyone else
or thinking that there is someone on earth
more wretched or sinful than you
but to praise everyone
and to glorify them at times.
Never criticize or humiliate
or backbite  someone ever.

Always keeping silence and not saying something
without being told to or without some urgent need
…. To speak or to answer calmly, quietly and rarely
as though being forced and ashamed to speak.
Not measuring oneself against anything
Not quarreling with anyone
… But if the other speaks correctly, simply say yes
But if they are mistaken, say “you know!”
to be obedient
and to hate one’s own  will.

One’s eyes were always turned down.
to have death before one’s eyes
Not  saying unhelpful and unnecessary words
or talk nonsense or to lie.
Not talking back to elders
Happy to endure insults,
humiliations, punishments.
The rest to hate comfort and to love hard work
Not vexing someone
or hurting their conscience.
… Blessed is he who has humility
because from here one becomes a home and temple of God!
And God resides in you
and you became heir to the Kingdom of Heaven! “
St. Ephraim the Syrian

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