The Ladder Steps 25

Step 25 - On Humility

St. John begins this step talking about the futility of talking about humility. He says that he can speak about it, but unless we act upon it then we can never learn.

Humility begins when we begin the struggle for godliness. If we are not struggling to be holy, then we will not learn humility.

Signs of humility in your life: (Church sign: If you think you have it, you have lost it. )

1. Willingness to be humiliated. “The delighted readiness to accept indignity, to receive it with open arms, to welcome it as something that relieves and cauterizes the diseases of the soul.” “indignity shows the true state of the heart.”

2. Freedom from anger. “Wiping out of anger—and modesty over the fact that this has happened.”

3. Humble about spiritual progress. “Honest distrust of one’s virtue, together with the unending desire to know more.” Unfortunately, to become prideful over the development of virtue is to lose what is gained. This is a great trap of the devil. Much ascetical literature is full of stories of the demons coming to someone praising him for his virtues. If the person, falls for this then he finds himself falling into delusion or some other vice.

The Path of Humility:

  1. Meditate on past sins that are forgiven.
  2. Remember the passion of Christ.
  3. Recount your daily lapses
  4. Remember the gifts of God and know how unworthy you are to receive them
  5. Perform humble acts. “virtues of the soul are shaped by our outward behavior.”

-we never separate the physical from the spiritual. Ex. Jesus washing the disciples feet.

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