This is the fourteenth in a series on St. Benedict for Beginners. – The Editors
The Eighth Step to Humility
‘The eighth step of humility is that the monk should do nothing except what is recommended by the common rule of the monastery and the example of those above him.’
It is difficult to put up and shut up. We think we know best, and often we can see a better way to do things. Benedict advises that for the growth of humility it is better to fit in than to stand out.
In the workplace, in the home, in the parish, in the church, in the community we want to make our mark. We want to step up with the latest good idea and change the world.
Thomas a Kempis – the author of The Imitation of Christ writes, “Why do you want to change the world when you cannot change yourself?”
Keeping our head down and minding our own business and getting on with the job is the way of humility and it is often the better way to change the world anyway.
St Benedict is trying to cultivate in our lives a kind of inner submission of heart. He wants us to learn how to accept the difficulties in our lives and overcome them from within rather than trying to change everything to have it our way.
This is not only a wise way forward for our own spiritual development, but it helps the communities to which we belong to work more smoothly. Nothing upsets a community more than every member wanting to have things his way.
Fitting in and helping out is not only humble – but it makes a community work smoothly and harmoniously.
Fr. Dwight Longenecker is the author of “Listen My Son” – a commentary on the Rule of St Benedict for families. Visit Fr. Dwight’s website to buy a copy here.
Fr. Dwight Longenecker is the parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, South Carolina. He is author of thirteen books on the Catholic faith. Praying the Rosary for Inner Healing is available in Catholic bookshops and through his website: dwightlongenecker.com
Follow Fr. Longenecker on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/frlongenecker
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