Such a good perspective from Father Mike, and such important truth!
Real humility is embracing the full truth about ourselves: our strengths and talents certainly, for denying these is a kind of “false modesty”. What’s needed instead is a constant awareness that all these good things – our very lives! – are gifts to us from God. Our proper response ought to be not a denial of these gifts, but instead a constant humble gratitude, and a willingness to offer them back to him, the All-Wise Giver of All Good Gifts. Only then can these gifts be fully actualized for good.
Of course humility demands that we must acknowledge our weaknesses and failures as well as our strengths! We are enabled to do this, as Father Mike says, because we are capable of knowing – in the very depths of our being – that we are “definitively loved” by God: seen, known and loved utterly.
When we have difficulty truly believing this in our hearts and living from that truth (which most of us do at least sometimes), we must ask for God’s grace to inscribe that truth upon our hearts. God is ever ready, willing and able to grant us the help we need to really believe the marvelous Good News, and to take him at his word.
Our part is to cooperate with this ever-available grace by nurturing it, feeding ourselves with the Word of God in every way possible by meditating regularly upon Scripture, and frequently participating in the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist and the sacrament of Reconciliation (aka Confession). It is here, in God’s Word and in the Sacraments, that we truly encounter Jesus’ love poured forth definitively, without measure. “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the very end.” (John 13:1, KJV)