A Manual of Humility

“Please, let there be no sophistical bombast in your speaking, no cloying sweetness in your singing, no proud and overbearing tone in your discussions. Instead, in everything get rid of pomposity. Be good to your friend, gentle to your servant, patient with the cocky, kind to the humbled. Console the afflicted, visit the distressed, disdain none. Be pleasant when addressing others, cheerful when replying to them, courteous, affable to all. Never sing your own praises, nor get other people to sing them. Never engage in uncivil conversation. Conceal as far as possible your own excellence.

Where sin is concerned, accuse yourself and do not wait for others to rebuke. Then you will be like the righteous man who accuses himself at the beginning of his speech (Prov 18.17). Then you will be like Job who was not deterred by the populous crowd in the city from declaring his own fault before them (Job 31.34). Do not be severe in rebuke. Do not be quick to make accusations nor be emotional when you do so, for this smacks of surliness. Do not condemn in matters of minor importance as if you were perfectly righteous. Receive those who have been caught in a trespass and restore them spiritually, as the Apostle exhorts, considering yourself, lest you also be tempted (Gal 6.1).

Make as much effort not to be glorified by others as some people make to be glorified, if you are really mindful of Christ who says that a reward from God is lost by voluntarily seeking renown from other people and doing good to be seen by other people.” St. Basil The Great, Homily on Humility, Chapter 7. Translation as in On Mark DelCogliano, On Christian Doctrine and Practice, SVS Press (2012). Here: On Christian Doctrine and Practice

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