In democratic ages every man is told to ‘think for himself.’ He is led to believe that the opinions he arrives at by the power of his own judgment are the supreme measure of truth in his world, with the end result that his opinions are formed almost entirely by voices emitting from his television set.
Humility is ‘thy will be done.’ Humility is focused on God, not self. Humility is not an exaggeratedly low opinion of yourself. Humility is self-forgetfulness. A humble man never tells you how bad he is. He’s too busy thinking about you to talk about himself. That’s why humility is such a joy and so close to the beatific vision, where we will be so fascinated with God that we forget ourselves completely.
~ Peter Kreeft, via The Radical Life
But in how great an error these persons have entangled themselves, and how far they are distant from that true perfection which we seek, may easily be gathered from their lives and habits. For in every thing, whether It be great or small, they seek their own advantage, and like to be preferred before others; they are self-willed and opinionated, blind to their own faults, sharp-sighted for the faults of others, and severely condemn the sayings and doings of other men.
~Lorenzo Scupoli, The Spiritual Combat
Oh, the liberty that is released in our hearts when we let go of the opinions of others! The less we are mesmerized by human voices, the more we are able to hear the Divine voice. The less we are manipulated by the expectations of others, the more we are open to the expectations of God.
In choosing “failure” from the outset, Francis frees himself from the enormous burden of the opinion of others. Beginning with his own father, he rejects knowing who he is only through others. He becomes a free man, a man whose identity comes from God.
~Murray Bodo, O.F.M. — The Way of St. Francis: The Challenge of Franciscan Spirituality for Everyone