Learning the full truth of our dependence upon God and our relation to his will is what the virtue of humility is all about. For humility is truth, the full truth, the truth that encompasses our relation to God the Creator and through him to the world he has created and to our fellowmen. And what we call humiliations are the trials by which our more complete grasp of this truth is tested.
It is self that is humiliated; there would be no "humiliation" if we had learned to put self in its place, to see ourselves in proper perspective before God and other men. And the stronger the ingredient of self develops in our lives, the more severe must our humiliations be in order to purify us. That was the terrible insight that dawned upon me in the cell at Lubianka as I prayed, shaken and dejected, after my experience with the interrogator.
The Spirit had not abandoned me, for the whole experience had been his work. The sense of guilt and shame I felt was rooted in my failure to put grace ahead of nature, my failure to trust primarily in God rather than in my own powers..."
From Walter J. Ciszek's book, He Leadeth me