Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Divine Humility

Sparked by a conversation currently in progress with a good friend of mine, an Evangelical Protestant, about whether or not God's "honor" needs to be defended by the Cross, and whether or not God is "humble":

From Fr. Alexander Schmemman's Great Lent, pp. 19-20
But what is humility? The answer to this question may seem a paradoxical one for it is rooted in a strange affirmation: God Himself is humble! Yet to anyone who knows God, who contemplates Him in His creation and in His saving acts, it is evident that humility is truly a divine quality, the very content and the radiance of that glory which, as we sing during the Divine Liturgy, fills heaven and earth. In our human mentality we tend to oppose "glory" and "humility"--the latter being for us the indication of a flaw or deficiency. For us it is our ignorance or incompetence that makes or ought to make us feel humble. It is almost impossible to "put across" to the modern man, fed on publicity, self-affirmation, and endless self-praise, that all that which is genuinely perfect, beautiful and good is at the same time naturally humble; for precisely because of its perfection, it does not need "publicity," external glory, or "showing off" of any kind. God is humble because He is perfect; His humility is His glory and the source of all true beauty, perfection, and goodness, and everyone who approaches God and knows Him immediately partakes of the Divine humility and is beautified by it.

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