THE SIX DEGREES OF HUMILITY — by Ven. Louis of Granada

1st degree: to recognise that all good comes from God. If there by any good in you at all, it comes from God. So if you do, think or say anything good, know for certain that this proceeds from God.

2nd degree: to recognise that all good comes to us through grace. If you have any good from God, if you have any at all, you did not obtain it by yourself, but by grace and the mercy of God. All the good you have from God is not from your own works, but from the mercy of God.

3rd degree: to see the virtues of others and to be blind to one’s own. There are many who know that all good comes from God and through His grace, but think that they are more blessed than others. They are full of themselves, and are like the pharisee.

Let our eyes be open to the virtues of others and shut them to our own. It is for this reason that Our Blessed Lord often permits that we suffer great temptations: that we not think ourselves more blessed than others.

4th degree: to recognise one’s own faults. We must not only realise that we are lacking in good, but that we are full of self-love, bad inclinations, and passions, and that we have sinned greatly. 'Who art Thou, my god, and who am I?', questioned St. Francis. We are nothing.

5th degree: to see oneself as the vilest of sinners. If God lifted His Hand off you, you would be the worst of all men. And if He gave others the same graces that He has given you, all others would be better than you. Let us consider the sanctity of the saints and how far we are from it; how much bad we have done and good we have squandered. You only truly know your own conscience, and so should know that you are the worst sinner of all: know that you are vile, and the vilest of all sinners.

6th degree: exterior humility. This consists of contempt for vain titles, a great love for humble titles and jobs, remembering that the Son of God came to serve and not to be served. Maintaining the dignity of any office you hold as well as the rules of discretion and of prudence, embrace humiliation and dejection, and prefer the conversation of poor and humble people.