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Meekness

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inher­it the earth.” (Matthew 5:5) Meek­ness is an essen­tial pos­ses­sion of the spir­i­tu­al per­son. Jesus Him­self was meek.

All things have been deliv­ered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son, and any one to whom the Son choos­es to reveal Him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am meek and low­ly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my bur­den is light. (Matthew 11:27–30)

The apos­tles of Christ taught meek­ness. Saint Paul men­tions it in all his writ­ings and Saint James insists upon it.

Who is wise and under­stand­ing among you? By his good life let him show his works in the meek­ness of wis­dom. But if you have bit­ter jeal­ousy and self­ish ambi­tion in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This wis­dom is not such as it comes down from above from above, but is earth­ly, unspir­i­tu­al, dev­il­ish. For where jeal­ousy and self­ish ambi­tion exist, there will be dis­or­der and every vile prac­tice. But the wis­dom from above is first pure, then peace­able, gen­tle, open to rea­son, full of mer­cy and good fruits… (James 3:13–17)

To be meek means to be gen­tle and kind, to be emp­ty of all self­ish­ness and earth­ly ambi­tion. It means, in a word, nev­er to return evil for evil, but always in every­thing to over­come evil by good. (Cf. Romans 12:14–21)

Meek­ness means to dis­trust and reject every thought and action of exter­nal coer­cion and vio­lence, which in any case can nev­er pro­duce fruit­ful, gen­uine and last­ing results.

Meek­ness is to have the firm and calm con­vic­tion that the good is more pow­er­ful than evil, and that the good ulti­mate­ly is always victorious.

To refer once more to Saint John Climacus:

Meek­ness is an unchange­able state of mind which remains the same in hon­or and dis­hon­or. Meek­ness is the rock over­look­ing the sea of irri­tabil­i­ty which breaks all the waves that dash against it, remain­ing itself unmoved. Meek­ness is the but­tress of patience, the moth­er of love and the foun­da­tion of wis­dom, for it is said, “The Lord will teach the meek His way.” (Psalm 24:9) It pre­pares the for­give­ness of sins; it is bold­ness in prayer, an abode of the Holy Spir­it. “But to whom shall I look,” says the Lord, “to him who is meek and qui­et and trem­bles at my word.” (Isa­iah 66:2) In meek hearts the Lord finds rest, but a tur­bu­lent soul is the seat of the dev­il. (The Lad­der of Divine Ascent, Step 24)