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On humility

All things must necessarily be accomplished in the truly humble man. He does not need to ask God, he can command God, because the height of divinity is nothing less than the depth of humility… The humble man and God are one; the humble man is master of God as well as himself, and everything possessed by angels is in the nature of the humble man; what God does, the humble man does also, and what God is he is: one life and one being; that is why our Lord has said: “Learn from me that I am gentle and humble in spirit”.

God’s divinity comes of my humility, and this may be demonstrated as follows. It is God’s peculiar property to give; but he cannot give unless something is prepared to receive his gifts. If, then, I prepare my humility to receive what he gives, by my humility I make God a giver. Since it is his nature to give, I am merely giving God what is already his own. It is like a rich man who wants to be a giver but must first find a taker, since without a taker he cannot be a giver. Similarly, if God is to be a giver, he must first find a taker, but no one may be a taker of God’s gifts except by his humility. Therefore, if God is to exercise his divine property by his gifts, he well may need my humility; for apart from humility he can give me nothing--without it I am not prepared to receive his gift. That is why it is true that by humility I give divinity to God.

From Raymond B. Blakney, Meister Eckhart: A Modern Translation


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