The following post is adapted from p. 94 of Finding Sanctuary by Abbot Christopher Jamison
The Latin root of the humility is humus – meaning “soil” or “earth”.
To be humble, therefore is to be down to earth.
The root connects both humility to humanity.
“Homo sapiens” are pieces of earth that know they are alive, an insight beautifully expressed in the Book of Genesis.
Adam is the one made from the the earth, the Hebrew word being adamah meaning “ground” or “earth”. He is sapiens because he has knowledge, from the Latin root meaning “able to discern”
When Adam and Eve are tempted by the Serpent, they give up their humus – both their humanity and humility.
We all struggle every day to be down to earth and humble – we often think and act as if we are “gods” and the centre of our own universes.
The basic human task is the strive to be humble, to be fully human and to live in the here and now of this earth.
How can you practise humility this coming week?