Humility is of the most vital importance to the spiritual life of the Christian. On this virtue it could be argued all others are dependent. St. Augustine says:
Humility is the foundation of all the virtues; therefore, in a soul where it does not exist here can be no true virtue, but the mere appearance only. In like manner, it is the most proper disposition for all celestial gifts. And, finally, it is so necessary to perfection, that of all the ways to reach it, the first is humility; the second, humility; the third, humility. And if the question were repeated a hundred times, I should always give the same answer.
Charity is built upon humility, for humility enables us to see the vast worth of others and the merit in sacrificing ourselves for their sakes. In humility we are able to reject our own wants and desires in favor of serving those around us. Through humility we learn to mortify our own wills, to not feel in any way ‘worthy’ of attaining what we want. Our greatest joy comes in giving our all.
Obedience is built upon humility, for humility makes us conscious of our position in respect to others. We see the vast difference between God and ourselves, and are aware of how far His ways are above our ways, which inspires us to a perfect obedience to His will. Humility aids us in our obedience to others; for the princess this generally means to our parents. I think I would be saying that the vast majority of the time our inclination to disobedience doesn’t stem from a disagreement on the necessity of doing what we’ve been commanded, or an objection to the morality of what is being asked, but a frank a very human dislike of saying: “Yes, sir,” and obeying. Humility is the contrast to this pride.
Reverence is built upon humility, in many ways like obedience. We are conscious of how far above us our God is, and are filled with awe and a holy fear.
Humility is the key to joy and wonder. The princess should never be complacent in her position in life. She should never consider her position as a princess as only natural, or as making sense, or as being proper. She should always be aware of the huge condescension on God’s part, and it should always astound her.
That God created us is amazing enough. That a Being completely sufficient in Himself, having no lack of anything, should create us simply because He wanted to, because He loved us, should baffle us beyond words.
That we are alive at all, created in His image, is extraordinary. That He actually cares intimately for us, and loves each one of us in a profoundly personal way, is additionally wondrous. He didn’t merely create us on a whim and then leave us to ourselves. One could say in a sense that though He does not technically need us, for there is no void in Him to be filled, He loves us so much that He has chosen to need us. Though the gift of life would have been beyond any repaying, for Him it was not enough. He wanted to give us more than just life, but an eternal life with Him.
And for this purpose He became Incarnate, and suffered and died a hideous death. At this point our amazement would rightly turn to a sense of fear. That an all-powerful God would create us, love us, and then become one of us and die for us is beyond the scope of all human imagination. He has done the unimaginable, for completely inferior and unworthy creatures. He has done it freely, out of love.
That we are princesses should not be a source of complacency to us. It should, if we were to really and genuinely think of it, scare us nearly out of our wits. That the King created us, loved us, became one of us and died for us… this is already too much to comprehend. That in addition, as a finishing touch, He should actually take His servants to His Heart as children is unthinkable. And, yet… it’s true.
We are princesses by virtue of an extraordinary condescension on His part. We are not worthy to even be his slaves, yet He offers Himself as a Father and Brother.
The eighth psalm should be constantly in our souls and minds. It is very similar to Mary’s Magnificat, in that it is both a recognition of the great honours that God has bestowed upon us and a humble proclamation that to God belongs all praise and glory, that it is not through our merit that we are so blessed but through His goodness.
For I will behold thy heavens, the work of thy fingers: the moon and the stars which thou hast founded. What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou hast made him a little less than the angels, thou hast crowned him with glory and honour. And hast set him over the works of thy hands.
This is the attitude the princess should have towards the wonder of the love God has shown her. She is not worthy to approach Him. She dares to, though, because His love asks it of her, and her love compels her.
Humility is one of the chief characteristics of the princess. She constantly looks to the superiority of her King in contrast to her own unworthiness, and to the example of her Queen, who in the midst of all her honour and glory professed only that she was His handmaiden.
For the Introduction and Parts 1-9, click here.