The Table Video

Jennifer Herdt

The Lofty Vocation of the Humble: Humility & Magnanimity

Gilbert L. Stark Professor of Christian Ethics / Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Yale Divinity School
June 2, 2017

We can best understand the special character of humility by following Thomas Aquinas’s account of humility and magnanimity as paired virtues. Together, magnanimity and humility equip us in responding well to the lofty vocation to which we are summoned as made to the image of God: that of participating in the reditus of creation to God, realized in ever-widening friendship with God. Magnanimity’s role is to strengthen us in the hopeful pursuit of this great good; humility’s, to dispose us to grasp our capacity for this achievement as gift. Freed from insecure self-preoccupation, the humble-and-magnanimous are freed for ever-reverberating joy.


We might not think immediately of humility in connection with joy. After all joy uplifts expands our spirits, humility, bends low, deflates with this etymological connections to the humours to the earth to all that is humble to humiliation to being brought low. But I’ll be arguing for an intimate connection between joy and humility. Humility is joyful and lack of humility interferes with joy. In order fully to grasp why and how humility is joyful, we need though to understand humility in connection with magnanimity with greatness of soul.

The point here is not that the meek and poor in spirit shall be exalted that the humble shall be lifted up, it’s not the notion that self denigration induces glorification by some higher power and unfortunately christian praise of humility has often been understood in this way and has elicited some appropriate critique for that. True humility is not what Nietzsche branded for septimal and his joy does not wait upon a reversal of fortunes. It can be understood as always already present as an anticipation of eschatological delight or at least that’s what I’ll be arguing. So first briefly on joy, I understand joy following Robert Roberts as a delight and the way the world is, a satisfaction or a spiritual pleasure in some things being as it is.

It is as though one says Amen to something this is as it ought to be as I wish it to be. But while Joey is always pleasurable, it’s not always good. I can take delight in bad things as well as good I can delight in radiant fall splendor I can also delight and seeing my despised colleague taking down a peg or two.

So our Joy’s reveal what we care about and we tend to care in distorted ways often, we tend to care for the wrong things or too much or too little. Assessing joy is therefore not a neutral enterprise we know whether someone else joy is worth approving and rejoicing in, only if we know whether it is indeed delight in the good. Humility seems that an unlikely candidate for the role of joy enhancer, in part for that reason it’s often been the target of abuse and demotion from virtue to vice. It seemed to many a kind of perverse self abasement we’ve heard a lot about this this weekend antithetical to healthy self esteem and even to accurate self-knowledge, it seems to require thinking better of others than oneself even when this disadvantageous comparison is unfounded. Many of humilities christian champions have not helped matters.

Benedict and his rule for instance who includes among the degrees of humility to believe and acknowledge oneself vileer than all. Is this not the Aristotelian vice of pusillanimous that thinks oneself capable and worthy of less than one truly is. Does it not suggest that modernity recovered a healthy self-esteem that had been pounded and driven underground by Christianity’s displacement of classical pagan virtue. Defending humility then seems to require an uphill battle. Nevertheless, it’s one that is worth undertaking for rightly understood, humility is indeed a virtue and thus necessary to living well.

It is even more than this a source of lasting joy. So to see this my argument is that we would do well to begin with Thomas Aquinas who develops his account of humility with reference to both pagan and Christian inheritances working to honor and render coherent all received wisdom as pointing to God’s truth. Aquinas pairs humility with magnanimity as twin virtues just as humility is not to be identified with pusillanimity, magnanimity is not to be identified with pride and I think this proves immensely helpful both for understanding humility and for understanding humilities relationship to joy.

Humility and Aquinas as account at here’s at moments to be just as objectionable as it is in the versions of some of his Christian predecessors. It is a praiseworthy self-abasement to the lowest place. It involves suppressing hope or confidence in oneself. It suppresses the passion of hope which is the movement of a spirit aiming at great things. It makes a man a good subject to ordinances of all kinds. Reading carefully though, we begin to see the inner logic of humility.

It tempers and restrains the impulse to tend to high things immoderately not absolutely. It is not self abasement as such but only insofar as this is praiseworthy. But how are we to determine what is in moderate and what is praiseworthy in these regards. Most crucially humility does not rule out aiming at great things, but only aiming at greater things through confiding in one’s own powers. In contrast to aim at greater things through confidence in God’s help, is not contrary to humility. This offers us a nun valuable gloss on another comment of Thomas says that humility would seem to denote in the first place man’s subjection to God.

Since man ought not to ascribe to himself more than as competent to him according to the position in which God has placed him. So what is this position in which God has placed humankind? A most exalted one reference to which is woven into the very structure of the Siva. Humankind is made to the image of God as creatures capable of moral agency of being the principles of their own actions. In humankind creation no longer simply passively reflects God’s glory but is capable of actively recognizing the divine goodness and accepting the invitation to enter into friendship with God. With such a lofty vocation in view what is it to ascribe to oneself more than that to which one is competent?

The answer comes in Thomas’s discussion of pride humilities opposite vice and more particularly in terms of discussion of humankind’s first sin, a sin of pride. Pride generally speaking of the appetite for excellence in excess of right reason. Our first parents sinned by coveting God’s likeness inordinately above their measure. Humankind was made to God’s image so aspiring to this is not in itself inordinate its property human nature. Nor did our first parents aspire to absolute equality with God Thomas thinks they didn’t even conceive of such a thing. Rather they desired to have through their own power what they ought to have received from God.

But happiness constituted by living in the knowledge and love of God and of all in relation to God is reached not by independent human action but by reliance on God’s grace. We are to be tutored not toward self-sufficiency but toward friendship toward a willingness to rely on our friend, humility by expelling pride makes a person submissive and ever open to receive the influx of divine grace.

So humility is not essentially a matter of thinking less of oneself than of others nor is it a matter of groveling or of self abasement before God rather submission to God this language of submission is essentially a matter of openness to grace of being willing to be lifted above servanthood to friendship with God, a sharing and the self giving Trinitarian life that comes only in acceptance of gift and not as independent achievement. It’s at this point that magnanimity can be helpfully brought onto the stage.

Where as the core definition of magnanimity is as a virtue that strengthens persons in hoping for or obtaining the greatest goods. Magnanimity special relation to humility emerges better in a fuller definition of each. So magnanimity makes a man deem himself worthy of great things, in consideration of the gifts he holds from God. Whereas humility, makes a man think little of himself in consideration of his own deficiency and makes us honor others an esteem them better than our selves so far as we see some of God’s gifts in them.

So magnanimity and humility are portrayed as complementary to one another and humility can’t be grumbling or self-abasement because then it would be contrary to magnanimity rather than being its complement. But introducing magnanimity into the picture might be thought to just make matters worse for magnanimity is just as contested of virtue as is humility. If humility embodies the suspect character of Christian virtue, magnanimity is the most maligned of pagan virtues. For the magnanimous man well Aristotelian magnanimity in particular comes in for abuse. For the magnanimous man on Aristotle’s account is concerned especially with honor.

He wishes to be superior to others and to forget what he has learned from them. He despises other people, he is so preoccupied with doing great things that he is inactive in lethargic with regard to everything else. Why ever would one think of the magnanimous person as the best person as possessing all of the other virtues and magnanimity as a sort of adornment which is all these are things that Aristotle says about magnanimity.

Scholar Lea’s opinion on this is a far from United. I myself have learned a great deal from David Horner who is sitting in the audience today on this and so I think there’s a lot to be said in favor of a reading on which Aristotle begins with a report on common opinions regarding great-souled heroes as ceased to move dialectically to create a different more Socratic moral heroism.

The truly magnanimous have a proper concern for honor which is to say that what they seek is not honor but virtue even as they regard honor as an appropriate recognition of virtue. Aquinas of course did not have the benefit of modern scholarship on air so. He did though inherit other traditions of reflection on magnanimity that offered lenses through which to creatively redeem Aristotelian magnanimity and most significant was that stemming from Cicero who numerated for parts of fortitude and Aquinas considers magnanimity apart afford ate.

So since there is four parts we’re magnificence, confidence, patience and perseverance. Aquinas makes room for the Aristotelian crown virtue by identifying it with Ciceronian confidence as a virtue through which the mind is much assured and firmly hopeful in great and honorable undertakings this is the sort of thing that Aquinas very good at of course Aristotle’s writing Cicero’s right and just have to see that magnanimity is confidence and all have it. [laughing] The identification of magnanimity with confidence did not simply secure a place for our magnanimity of course it also transformed it.

Magnanimity strengthens the mind in great undertakings. It is peculiarly concerned with honor not as sought for its own sake but only insofar as honor is indeed right recognition of great goodness. First and foremost then honor is to be given to God and when accorded to human virtue, it is to be referred on to God. Magnanimity and strengthening persons in hoping for the greatest good strengthens them not in hope for honor but rather in hope for being able to fulfill the task to which human persons are called, that of participating actively as creatures made to the image of God in the rheticus the return of creation to God.

This greatest good toward which the soul can be stretched as that of entering into friendship with God, a friendship that turns out word in ever widening invitation and what is critical to achieving this heroic task this great good is precisely not seeking to do so as one’s own independent achievement but rather in constant recognition of the gifts one has received from God hence one cannot be fully magnanimous without also being humble. Similarly, one cannot perfect the virtue of humility without also possessing the virtue of magnanimity.

It would be the vice of pusillanimous to refuse to aim at the fulfillment of one’s god-given calling. All of this is seen most clearly in the virtues of Jesus Christ. Aquinas portrait of the virtuous person is always indirectly a portrait of Christ’s perfect virtue. To be sure, Christ’s virtues are perfect because Christ is perfectly United to God always in possession of the beatific vision yet what this underscores is not that Christ’s virtue is unattainable for the rest of us but rather that it was attainable for Christ precisely as reliant on divine grace not as independent achievement.

As virtue is also attainable for Christ’s followers precisely as grace given. Christ displays perfect human virtue as receptive and self giving friendship not as independence or invulnerability. Jesus Christ is us corrects are likely misunderstandings of both magnanimity and humility. We are all to aim at the greatest goods to rise to our life lofty calling us part agents of the Reditives creation to God but we are to do so by virtue of the abundant gifts we receive from God.

This is not to ascribe to us more than as competent to us according to the position in which God has placed us but rather it’s precisely to hope and aspire well attended by both magnanimity and humility. Now, we may still be inclined to think that Aquinas nods a bit too approvingly in the direction of Christian understandings of humility of self denigration need openness to divine grace be construed as submission and self abasement, need honoring God as the source of all grace involve honoring human others as better than ourselves doesn’t common dependency on God’s grace swamped the significance of all such human comparisons.

In fact I think for Aquinas humility does radically relativize comparative judgments recall that humility according to him makes a man think little of himself in consideration of his own deficiency and makes us honor others and esteem them better than ourselves so far as we see some of God’s gifts in them. The truly humble do not belittle themselves with reference to the achievements of others rather they think little of themselves that is quietly confident of their self-worth they need not be troubled by comparisons with others whether favorable or unfavorable. As Bob Roberts argues humility is a striking or unusual unconcern to be well regarded by others and thus a kind of emotional insensitivity to the issues of status.

This is not because all of the things for which one might be well regarded are unimportant moral character for example but because the concern for status is swamped or displaced or put on hold by some overriding virtuous concern. I think sometimes when Bob Roberts definition is lifted up that part is left out and it’s that part that I think that Aquinas really helps us to see and that I want to underscore. Because the concern for status is swamped or displaced or put on hold by some overriding virtuous concern and I’m trying to you know flesh that out in terms of the God-given task of participating in the redditass.

Fleshing out just what sort of lack of concern for the regard of others is involved here turns out to be a fine-grained task. For starters, public recognition of moral goodness is itself a good thing. Aquinas got calls honor the greatest of external goods rightly offered to God and to the best it’s offered to God it’s gotta be okay, right. We praise and honor God in public worship and we regard this as the anticipation of the great celebration of heaven worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and honor and glory. Further, if our community is failed publicly to recognize an honor moral goodness, how would we as individuals come to recognize that goodness? It’s essential that we aspire to become good and that requires that we grasp certain ways of acting as good as worthy of choice.

Public recognition of them as good points us in the right way. Even if at some point we come to critique what those around us judge as good, such critique is always internal criticism, intelligible only insofar as it rejects some alleged good in the name of others that are not currently being contested Whatever humility is then it cannot require a failure to discriminate more goodness. Nor can humility be constituted by a peculiar blind spot where your own self is concerned, a local and ability to discriminate what in oneself might be worthy of on or admiration for such blindness would hinder one’s ability to act well, we must know both our capacities and our in capacities, our virtues and our vices.

Am I able to galvanize a roomful of people to fight injustice, able instead to build the sort of trust that makes room for a difficult intimate conversation, keep a clear head in times of stress, self-knowledge is indispensable. This requires further that we compare ourselves with others perhaps I can galvanize the roomful of people but not as well as cliff can or I can lead the difficult conversations but even better than Jackie can.

The humble person is not lacking in such knowledge or the willingness to engage in the comparative judgments that are required. Moreover, this can’t be a sort of unconcerned observational knowledge, we also have to care about the quality of our own agency and in a special way because it’s only by way of my own agency that I can be for what is good that I can advance the go to defend the good.

Only if I care about my agency can I hope to build my competencies. Further, we must concede that caring about what respect that others think of us plays a significant role in the development of the virtues even if we become less dependent on others perceptions of us insofar as we develop our own stable sense of what is genuinely honorable. Short of a state of perfect virtue we can’t afford to exclude the possibility that others assessments of us give us much needed information.

Indeed some degree of sensitivity to others assessments a willingness to take them into consideration would seem to be ingredient on the virtue of humility itself. What we might say then is that the humble person is fully aware of her strengths and weaknesses in relation to others and of others perceptions of her but as neither inflated nor deflated by these, that is her sense of self-worth is not dependent on these comparisons. They simply provide important information concerning what she should and should not aspire to in particular context.

So what humility seems to involve is a relative independence of others good regard such that one is not dependent on that regard for one sense of identity or self-confidence even as one remains sensitive to others regard or lack of regard and so far as that might make one aware of some previously unrecognized flaw or weakness and the humble persons concerned for comparison is not directed toward being better than others for the sake of being better than others. Comparison is rather directed toward becoming better than one presently is. And reacting as well as possible given ones present strengths and weaknesses.

Attention is focused not on the self as such but only insofar as various aspects of our agency are significant for fulfilling one’s task, one’s vocation. Humility then disposes us to regard our competencies as gifts rather than as achievements. For regarding something as an achievement focuses attention on oneself as achiever. To see our virtues and competencies instead as gifts as unmerited decisively reframes them focusing attention on the giver and on oneself as fortunate recipient as gifted instead of being puffed up with pride we are suffused with gratitude as having been gifted in this way. Magnanimity likewise frees its possessor from preoccupation with herself as the achiever of great deeds enabling her to focus on doing that to which she is called on the goodness and importance of the task rather than off herself.

We’re all equal and then we are all recipients of gifts all counted worthy to receive such unmerited gifts equally beloved, yet we are recipients of varied and unequal gifts as Thomas rightly notes. Given the importance for moral development of self-knowledge sensitivity to others regard and comparison with others the likelihood that we will fall into insecure self preoccupation is rather great, we need the virtues of humility and magnanimity to assist us in turning outward rather than inward. So we are all summoned to the same high calling on this regard on this account and magnanimity no less than humility, is a virtue that we all require. Reflecting further on what this high calling is, reveals even more fully why it unlike the civic good works of Aristotle’s magnanimous can be achieved only with the assistance of humility.

For our part as made in the image of God in this grand reddit sauce of creation to God is realized as we accept that God befriended us as sinners and that we’re called to extend the community of God’s friends by loving our enemies the overlooked in the outcasts. So it’s a high heroic calling that’s the magnanimity part but it’s often realized in ways that look anything but heroic. It’s a kind of magnanimity whose public works are not marble monuments but gestures of welcoming reconciliation and love.

The God whose image we are made as a God whose goodness has turned outward not inward a God of holy self giving love, it is also a calling whose way might well lead through the cross as it did for the one who shows us the way and who is the way. So we need magnanimity to strengthen us and hoping for the greatest goods but only by way of God’s great gifts to us free through humility from preoccupation either with our own strength or our own weakness our own ability or our own insufficiency.

Do I mean then to be asserting that only Christians are those who acknowledge god-given tasks and gifts can be truly humble or truly magnanimous. Not quite, for there’s a naturalistic attitude that can nurture humility as well or maybe we can have a long conversation about whether this is humility or an analog of humility but I’ll call it humility. The awareness of the contingent and unearned character of all that comes together to constitute one’s capacities genetic endowment upbringing chance occurrences here too one can cultivate gratitude. Geoffrey Stout calls this piety and looks to Emerson for an apt expression of it.

When I receive a new gift, I do not macerate my body to make the account square for if I should die I could not make the account square. The benefit over round the merit the first day and has over and the merit ever since. The merit itself so-called I reckon part of the receiving. So Emerson grasps that pusillanimity I knew eventually I would get tripped up on that word and self-abasement are no substitute for grateful acknowledgments. Similarly, I see no reason to deny a secular magnanimity that strengthens hope and seeking the common good rather than focusing on one’s own glory. Indeed as rooted in this same acknowledgement that one’s own merits and achievements like those of others are gift enabled.

If this magnanimity remains imperfect given its failure to acknowledge God as giver, Christian magnanimity too remains and manifold other respects short of eschatological consummation. Gratitude fosters humility then by disposing a person to regard her capacities as gifts and thus by shifting her attention from herself and her merits to the great goods to which magnanimity hopefully aspires. Humility also stands in a special relationship with friendship where pride isolates humility paves the way for friendship.

For the prideful engage in just the kind of comparisons with others for which the humble have no need, the prideful are focused on themselves in their status and hence cannot regard their friends through the lens of perceived inferiority or superiority as those who enhance our standing by way of association or whose subordinate status feeds our sense of self esteem. But we might also just as appropriately say, that friendship fosters humility. God has revealed in Jesus Christ as the be-friender preoccupied not with his own status in relation to God but with the task of befriended strangers and enemies grasping that we have been befriended by God and this way is what frees us for both humility and magnanimity.

We become imago day as we become more and more fully, as we more and more fully received the gifts given to us and more and more fully pour ourselves out in self gift. Where we grasp ourselves as beloved and befriended so absolutely the gnawing and security that keeps us preoccupied with our own status and feeds competition with would be friends is stilled, friendship then prepares the ground for humility which in turn opens the way for friendship. Indeed for Aquinas charity. the infused theological virtue that becomes the form that guides and directs all of Christian virtue just is friendship with God.

It is God communicating God’s own goodness to human beings in such a way that they themselves become capable of a Makia of self giving friendship with God and with one another. Thomas has guided here by Scripture notably by Jesus farewell discourse in the Gospel of John I will not now call you servants but my friends. Human beings he tells us are invited into a friendship and communication a conversation with God that can be imperfectly experienced now but that will be eschatologically perfected, befriended by God we begin to love all that is loved by our friend. God’s befriending of us then frees us for a humility that fosters a divides friendship with others.

Okay, it’s time to circle back around to joy for we’re now in a position to see how humility despite its association with deflation and bending low to the earth actually fosters joy. For humility dismantles tendencies that interfere with our ability to take delight in the way things are. It also renders joy more durable by rooting it and something that is not subject to fluctuation. Joy can as we noted at the beginning be taken and pretty much anything that someone is capable of surveying with satisfaction and delight.

Humility together with its twin virtue of magnanimity fosters durable joy in a particular domain having to do with oneself and one’s agency. We might think that someone with an inflated sense of self-importance while lacking in humility finds in feelings of self-importance a source it’s a significant joy and this might indeed be the case. Think of professor top of the heap, not present at this conference. [chuckling] Who takes great delight and satisfaction in surveying his Amazon rankings and monitoring his citation reports. At the same time, professor top of the heap feels threatened when his rankings fall and envious of his colleague, professor trendy whose research seems to be guarding ever increasing attention.

Professor top of the heaps Joe is fragile vulnerable to threats to his status moreover the fact that his sense of self-esteem rests on rankings in this way blocks, the possibility of friendship with Professor trendy and others and friendship is a source of joy, one rejoices and the very being of one’s friend and enjoys the company of one’s friend indeed and joy as the friendship itself. one’s friends achievements enhance rather than threatening one’s joy. The vices of Pride and vanity deprive one of the joys of friendship. Professor top of the heap also lacks the virtue of magnanimity and its attendant joys.

He’s preoccupied with his own importance not the significance of his research undertakings, when his rankings fall he’s consumed with doubt over whether he’s pursued the best line of research or ought rather to have anticipated trendies topics. He cannot take joy in having contributed to something of genuine and lasting significance. Contrast professor top of the heap with Professor perseverance, who has been working for 20 years to analyze the envelope glycoproteins of the HIV virus. We could probably discuss later why the humanity seems a little bit more prone to some of these problematic vices than natural sciences. [audience laughing] Possessing the virtue of humility professor perseverance is filled with gratitude for all that led her into this life work.

The undergraduate professor whose virology course captured her imagination, the postdoctoral fellowship that landed her a spot in a leading proteomic lab. The friends whose companionship make time in the lab enjoyable. Professor perseverance is grateful for her own character and the way it enables her research grateful that she’s been gifted with the patience to persist through years of repetitive experiments and disappointing results and a skill at analyzing inconclusive masses of data. When a co-authored paper is published in the journal Science she rejoices knowing that this will boost the chances of further NIH funding, funding that could lead to a breakthrough with clinical implications.

When she retires, no breakthrough insight she is nevertheless filled with joy. Satisfied that her energies have been dedicated to something worthwhile. Professor perseverance humility disposes her to the joys of friendship. She’s aware that both her own achievements and those of others are not pure achievement but rest on gifts received hence both can be a source of joy as she surveys with delight what these gifts make possible. Clearly she also possesses the virtue of magnanimity and this too gives rise to joy for it strengthens her hope and contributing to the achievement of a great good.

Given her humility she does not regard this contribution as significant because it proves her own greatness. Her attention is focused primarily on the great undertaking itself. Should she not succeed or should success not be evident, she can nevertheless take satisfaction and therefore find joy simply and having been for this great good and having been for it together with others. I’ve noted that it’s possible to take joy in anything one can survey with delight and satisfaction and that humility and magnanimity disposed one to durable and Latta and stable joys. Of course we ought not to simply seek maximally great and lasting joy, we should seek good joy, joy that has taken in things and states of affairs that are good.

To be virtuous is to take joy only and what is good. If professor perseverant discovers that her closest colleague and friend has been fabricating the data on which a decade’s worth of publications have been based her joy and having contributed to those publications evaporates. She’s incapable of delighting in them now since humility and magnanimity are virtues they dispose their possessors not just to stable and lasting joy but to good joy. They do so imperfectly however unless they are complimented by all of the other virtues.

Had professor perseverant possessed greater prudence for instance she would have examined her colleagues data more closely, had she been more courageous she would have confronted her colleague earlier. Magnanimity is a source of joy insofar as one surveys with delight the fact that one is devoted to the pursuit of a great good. It matters of course that this truly be a great good but while one’s Joy’s are always revealing of what one cares about it not all joy is delight and something great, some of the most easily accessible joys are simple joys delight in a clear blue sky in a child’s smiling face, the feel of a smooth cool pebble.

Of course one can take joy in something that you would unhesitatingly lay aside where something of greater significance at stake leave a savored hour of solitaire, reading without a backward glance should a phone call come from a student in distress doubt, it there’s a good test of virtuous character. [chuckling] I can take joy in visiting an invalid friend but not if I am preoccupied the whole time with a thought that I should be getting a head start on the weekends chores. The perfectly magnanimous that is those in whom magnanimity is attended by the full complement of the other virtues are not less capable of simple joys because of their devotion to the pursuit of a great good. They are simply clear about when one undertaking ought properly to be given up for the sake of another.

Lack of clarity concerning how various concerns ought to be ordered interferes with even the simplest joys as when waffles and worries about whether one’s energies are being aptly deployed. The perfectly humble who regard both their own and others achievements as gift enabled are disposed to view not just everything they do but everything the experience as giftly. The humble and magnanimous then are capable of rejoicing and everything that they do. This is not to deny that their lives might be filled with loss and disappointment, even if their joy is not destroyed by a sense of insecurity or threat from others you eroded by their vices of pride or pusillanimous, their virtues don’t insulate them from all evils.

Nevertheless, in fighting and justice, they rejoice to be aligning themselves with the just in mourning a loved one, they rejoice that this loved one was present in their lives and in the fitting of mourning. They can to be sure imagine a fuller joy in which there is no injustice to oppose, no loss to mourn but they are nevertheless filled with joy not only do the good find occasion for joy everywhere in always their joy echoes or reverberates, I can rejoice in your joy and something’s being as it ought to be and you can rejoice in my rejoicing over your joy.

Humility and magnanimity facilitate this reverberation of joy. Humility does so by regarding this capacity to rejoice as gift a source of gratitude rather than of invidious pride. Magnanimity does so by recognizing this as a great good worthy of hopeful and energetic pursuit. But perfectly humble in a magnanimous grasp they’re hopeful pursuit of great goods as participating in the redditors of creation to God, they relate all that they do to this great pursuit allow it to order all goods and they regard the gifts that enable this participation including their own great virtues as gifts from God.

They understand themselves as equally beloved children of God called into a circle of fellowship that invites in the stranger and the enemy befriending others into endlessly reverberating joy and they rejoice.

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