St. Theresa says charity and humility give birth to all other virtues, but, in its purest form, doesn’t humility flow from charity? For me to acquire an accurate, honest and just perception of who I am, why I’m here, and where I’m going, I must concurrently entertain the necessary effacement of “self.” This is humility. But I don’t think we can get there until we first grasp the essential elements of love.
The unconditional giving of self in love precedes the correct perception of self. Humility then is born of love. We grow to understand the proper place of self by giving it, and, ultimately, losing it. What this points to then is that all other virtues, including humility, are born of charity. Therefore, can a person truly love and lack humility? The debate would revolve around the egocentric self. The more we are infatuated with our selves the less capable are we of genuine love. The infatuation incapacitates our ability to perceive the reality of our existence and denies a chance for humility. Only love can open this door. Humility flows automatically from the mastery of charity. When my self is obliterated by giving all, humility is there.
We associate the command to love with the new law; yet I think it was implicit in the Old Testament covenant: “I am your God and you will be My people.” All that really matters about our existence is love, and, with the values we place on so many other things, that is truly humbling.