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VIRTUE AND VICE


 

 

PERFECT AND IMPERFECT HUMILITY

Virtues can be either perfect or imperfect depending on whether their source is our power of knowing or our power of loving; whether they arise from what our mind can reveal to us about ourselves or what God achieves within us when we are united to him in perfect love.

In itself, humility is nothing else but a true understanding and awareness of ourselves as we really are. 

We can arrive at this self-knowledge, and the humility born of it, through our power to know, from observing and analyzing ourselves and accepting the truth of what we see.

And what we see, more likely than not, is a history of wretchedness and sinfulness. This is as far as the power of knowing can take us.

Perfect humility, on the other hand, arises when our love pierces the cloud of unknowing to discover there the superabundant love of God himself. 

At the sight of this, all creation trembles, all learned men are fools, all the angels and saints are blinded, and perfect humility is born in our lives.

We see ourselves as we really are, not in the light of our imperfection but in the light of his infinite perfection.

The Cloud of Unknowing
 

 

 

(11-05-02)

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                                                                                        - Teresa of Avila

 


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