Humble people persevere in the life of prayer without presumption and without relying on themselves. They don’t consider anything their due, don’t consider themselves able to do anything by their own strength, aren’t surprised to find that they have difficulties, weaknesses, and constant falls, but put up with all these peacefully, without making much of them, because they place all their hope in God and are certain that they will obtain from God’s mercy all that they are powerless to do or merit for themselves.
Humble people are never discouraged because they trust not in themselves but in God. Ultimately, that is what really matters. “It is discouragement that causes souls to be lost,” says Father Libermann. True humility and trust always go hand-in-hand.
For example, we must never let ourselves become discouraged over our lukewarmness or the realization of how little we love God. Beginners in the spiritual life, on reading the lives of the saints or their writings, may sometimes feel downhearted in the face of burning expressions of love for God they find there, so far beyond anything they themselves feel. This is a very common temptation. Let us preserver in good will and trust: God himself will give us the love with which we can love him. Strong, burning love for God does not come naturally. It is infused in our heart by the Holy Spirit, who will be given to us if we ask him with the persistence of the wide in the Gospel. It is not always those who feel the most fervent at the start who go furthest in the spiritual life — far from it, in fact!
- Fr Jacques Philippe, Time for God -