St Philip Neri’s humility quotes are perfect, as he is known as the Saint of humility and gaiety. Sounds like a strange combination right? It’s easy to explain.
He didn’t think anyone should take himself that seriously and so he laughed a lot. If you don’t take yourself seriously, you don’t get offended easily; you don’t expect people to praise you, and you don’t hold yourself in high regard.
If we are to have any chance of becoming Saints, we need to squash our pride.
Here are 6 quotes of humility by St Philip Neri that will squash our pride.
6 St Philip Neri Humility Quotes
1) “Excessive sadness seldom springs from any other source than pride.”
A perfect example of this is job discontent.
Some of the reasons for such discontent might include:
- We are too educated or talented for the job.
- We don’t get the respect we deserve.
- We need to make more money.
- We are disappointed that our neighbors or Church members have more lucrative jobs.
- We feel like failures.
Although it’s perfectly fine to look for a job that pays well, where we can employ our talents and skills, extreme sadness often means we are disappointed in ourselves, because we see ourselves as greater than the jobs we have.
2) “To obtain perfectly the gift of humility, four things are required: to despise the world, to despise no person, to despise one’s self, to despise being despised.”
These are hard sayings.
What does it mean to despise ourselves? Do we have to be doormats and grovel before everyone we meet?
No, but it does mean we need to be detached from any esteem that we have in ourselves. Our esteem and self-worth should be anchored in God.
A good prayer that helps with this is the Litany of Humility.
3) “Humility is the safeguard of chastity. In the matter of purity, there is no greater danger than not fearing the danger. For my part, when I find a man secure of himself and without fear, I give him up for lost. I am less alarmed for one who is tempted and who resists by avoiding the occasions, than for one who is not tempted and is not careful to avoid occasions. When a person puts himself in an occasion, saying, I shall not fall, it is an almost infallible sign that he will fall, and with great injury to his soul.”
It amazes me how many people don’t flee occasions of sin.
“It’s not a temptation for me”, is often said.
This is where the pride comes in.
Scripture says, “Wherefore he that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall. Source.
Even if you don’t think you struggle with a particular sin, the devil can use that prideful confidence to lead you to sin.
4) “When a man has fallen he ought to acknowledge it in some such way as this: “Ah, if I had been humble I should not have fallen!”
About four years ago, I remember an instance when I was so sure of myself, regarding a particular sin.
I was sure that I had overcome that sin and that I did not need to worry about any near-occasions of sin.
Guess what happened? I fell.
The problem was not that I was confident that God would protect me from that sin. The problem was that I thought I was strong enough to resist it on my own.
We should always be on our guard, and never think we are too strong to sin.
As the saying goes, “there but for the grace of God, go I.”
5) One of the very best means of obtaining humility, is sincere and frequent confession.
Some people only go to confession when they commit mortal sin.
Therefore, it is very easy to begin to see yourself as pious and holy, since you rarely need to go to confession, right?
It’s important to go frequently and confess venial sins, as well as mortal sins.
We should try to never offend God and when we do even if it’s venial, it’s good to confess it when you make your regular confession.
Did you know some venial sins can lead to mortal sins? If you are committing the same venial sins over and over, it’s possible that you enjoy committing those sins and that’s a dicey road.
Check out this post on venial sin to see how easy it is to slip into mortal sin when you minimize venial sins.
6) “If we wish the Holy Spirit to teach us how to pray, we must practice humility and obedience.”
Matthew 14:16 says
“But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.”
The Lord knows that we need his help in all things, including with learning how to pray according to his will.
In order to be docile to His Will, we have to be humble, and not be swayed by our own estimation of ourselves.
When st Philip Neri was with us on the earth, he prioritized humility and gaiety.
St Philip Neri’s quotes on pride and humility can teach us so much. St Philip Neri, pray for us.