Humility is the situation of the earth.

To me, humility is not what we often make of it: the sheepish way of trying to imagine that we are the worst of all and trying to convince others that our artificial ways of behaving show that we are aware of that. Humility is the situation of the earth. The earth is always there, always taken for granted, never remembered, always trodden on by everyone, somewhere we cast and pour out all the refuse, all we don’t need. It’s there, silent and accepting everything and in a miraculous way making out of all the refuse new richness in spite of corruption, transforming corruption itself into a power of life and a new possibility of creativeness, open to the sunshine, open to the rain, ready to receive any seed we sow and capable of bringing thirtyfold, sixtyfold, a hundredfold out of every seed.

-Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

 

(I stole the quote from Tavi’s Corner, from Met. Anthony’s Beginning to Pray. And I see that the general idea has been shared in slightly different words elsewhere, and credited by Met. Anthony to St. Theophan the Recluse.)

4 thoughts on “Humility is the situation of the earth.

  1. It’s a well-chosen association, humility and the earth, since both humility and ‘humus’ come from the same root etymologically. It’s no mistake that some of the most humble people in our world also are the most ‘grounded.’

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    1. I don’t think I had ever considered “grounded” in that sense before, but now that you have made the connection for me, from now on the word will have a richer — think “rich soil”! — connotation. Thank you, Linda.

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  2. I sometimes think that the character who exemplifies this best is Alyosha Karamazov. But even the passionate Mitya Karamazov has his own moments. He is overcome by passions, but he doesn’t claim to be more than he is, and so beauty comes out around him as well. Sorry, Brothers Karamazov is on my mind lately :).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thank you for this reminder! So true! It’s wonderful to have some literary examples, because the author can show us depths of the human person and experience that are normally hidden from us in real life, unless the Lord opens our eyes to what is going on in the spiritual world, in the same way that we can’t see the components of the compost pile being transformed into a host for beautiful flowers.

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