“…for he has regarded the humility of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.” (Lk 1: 48, The “Song” of the Theotokos, Песнь Богородицы)

Is this a “humble” statement, I mean, the part about “henceforth all generations will call me blessed”? Of course it is, because the Mother of God said it. But I think, mainly because of our misconceptions of “humility,” were anyone else to make mention of their fame, let alone anticipate their future fame, “henceforth,” in “all generations,” we would probably find such words “not humble,” at the very least.

“Humility,” however, does not mean being blind to our gifts or blessings, but rather seeing them in the proper light, and that is, as given by God, and with heartfelt gratitude to Him. In fact, taking an honest look at our “strengths” and positive sides, as given by God, is a healthy exercise in gratitude, which is so central, so essential, for our connection or communion with God. While we also need regularly to have an honest look at our weaknesses and shortcomings, we also need to remain grateful, and bless God, for our own, unique gifts, like, having a good sense of humor, or a knack for organization, or for playing a musical instrument, or for being a good listener, or being blessed with a loving marriage, or with a good job, or with a good education, or simply with good looks. A recognition and gratitude for these gifts, as “related” to God, because He has given them, inspires us to serve Him and others through them, to His greater glory.

Most Holy Theotokos, today, when those of us on the Older Calendar celebrate Your Dormition, help me to be “humbled,” also through my gifts and blessings, as You were. Because Your “gifts,” like being the Mother of One crucified, were also Your “cross,” as are ours. Most Holy Theotokos, save us!