Sixth Step of Humility

The sixth step of humility consists that a monk is content with the lowest and most menial treatment, and regards himself as a poor and worthless workman in whatever task he is given.  The Rule of St. Benedict

Saint Benedict knew the dangers of self-aggrandizement, a common temptation among people who claim to be successful, either in the spiritual or secular life.  These kind of people are all around us.  Whenever people ascribe to themselves greatness of any sort, we know that what comes out of their mouth is not necessarily the wisdom of God, but pure praise for themselves and their self-proclaimed talents.  Yet, in the words of Jesus, we must always seek the last place and make ourselves the servant of all.

The servant is not greater than the Master, says the Lord, and if he chose to empty himself by taking the form of a servant, it was to give us an example of how we must follow him.  To choose therefore the lowest and the last place in all circumstances, to acknowledge oneself as the “useless servant” even when we think we have achieved some good, are the genuine signs of true discipleship.  The Lord rewards the humility of the servant with the gift of inner freedom.  For, in truth, one does not have to do battle for the last place, since very few aspire to such a position.  In choosing to always be last, we are left alone with God, and no one can disturb this intimate communion.

Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette
Blessings of the Daily, A Monastic Book of Days

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