Sophie

The most arrogant person can say that they are humbled and mean it;
but that has nothing to do with humility.

The most gentle person I know routinely responds to the anger that she experiences in others with the words, God bless you.  She may not always say them out loud because it may not be appropriate for a variety of reasons.  And after knowing her and her life story for many decades I know that she genuinely means what she says, which she intends as a genuine blessing on the circumstances of the restless and disheveled lives of others.  She would never ever mean this dismissively.  She carries absolute goodwill toward others in her heart.

You’d think this trait would have been hard won;
but not.

I have never met a person more naturally well-intentioned;
she grew up genuinely abused and regularly ridiculed.

We have spoken – most time in coded language – at length about her response for much of our lives.

She has never received any sort of formal recognition for what she does;
the people with whom she works simply do not have the social purchase to carry the weight behind an award.

Many years ago she told me that one of the most painful moments of her life came when in a particularly difficult situation she said those words, God bless you, to someone who was causing grief to others in her church.  When the others could do nothing but curse, she blessed…genuinely.  Her then-bishop was present at the time.

Afterward he took her aside and said to her that she needed to stop her disingenuous rhetoric;
that what she was unwittingly doing was revealing her real aggression.

No, she told to me at the time, I mean that I honestly mean a blessing on them. Why would I wish ill on anyone?

And then she wept.

I think that the greatest obstacle to growth in humility is resentment.

hagia sophia divine wisdon