Post by Deleted on Jan 14, 2018 21:47:54 GMT
St. Benedict lived as he believed. He toiled as each one of us toils, but left no reserve for himself, he gave himself all for God; as all saints do.
For any Catholic who wants to follow our Lord in the counsel of the Angels "Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will." (Luke 2). There must first be the desire to fulfill God's Holy Will, making it your own, then there will be peace in one's mind and heart. Humility must be the foundation.
Our Holy Church teaches us this in the beginning of Ash Wednesday to begin life and all we do with humility and docility - "Remember o'man, thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return".
Our Lord renounced pride from the time of His Birth, right up to His Crucifixion. In one of His sermon's, Our Lord stated: "Everyone that exalteth himself shall be humbled, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted". (Luke 14).
The Rule of St. Benedict has been bearing fruit sanctifying souls for over 1500 years. It is a great counsel our Lord provided to practice what He gave in His Mount of Beatitudes. (Matthew 5) Though there are 73 Chapters in the Benedictine Rule, given in an overview here, St. Benedict gives 12-Degrees of Humility to put away the old-man to blossom the new-man to advance closer to God in our prayers, works and actions, striving to gain everlasting glory with Him.
The first degree of humility, then, is that a man always
have the fear of God before his eyes (cf Ps 35:2), shunning all
forgetfulness and that he be ever mindful of all that God hath commanded, that
he always consider in his mind how those who despise God will burn in hell for
their sins, and that life everlasting is prepared for those who fear God. And
whilst he guard himself evermore against sin and vices of thought, word, deed,
and self-will, let him also hasten to cut off the desires of the flesh.
The second degree of humility is, when a man love not his
own will, nor is pleased to fulfill his own desires but by his deeds carried
out that word of the Lord which said: “I came not to do My own will but
the will of Him that sent Me” (Jn 6:38). It is likewise said:
“Self-will hath its punishment, but necessity win the crown.”
The third degree of humility is, that for the love of God a
man subject himself to a Superior in all obedience, imitating the Lord, of whom
the Apostle said: “He became obedient unto death” (Phil 2:8).
The fourth degree of humility is, that, if hard and
distasteful things are commanded, nay, even though injuries are inflicted, he
accept them with patience and even temper, and not grow weary or give up, but
hold out, as the Scripture said: “He that shall persevere unto the end
shall be saved” (Mt 10:22). And again: “Let thy heart take courage,
and wait thou for the Lord” (Ps 26:14).
The fifth degree of humility is, when one hides from his
Abbot none of the evil thoughts which rise in his heart or the evils committed
by him in secret, but humbly confesses them. Concerning this the Scripture
exhorts us, saying: “Reveal thy way to the Lord and trust in Him” (Ps
36:5). And it said further: “Confess to the Lord, for He is good, for
His mercy endures forever” (Ps 105:1; Ps 117:1). And the Prophet
likewise said: “I have acknowledged my sin to Thee and my injustice I have
not concealed. I said I will confess against myself my injustice to the Lord;
and Thou hast forgiven the wickedness of my sins” (Ps 31:5).
The sixth degree of humility is, when a monk is content with
the meanest and worst of everything, and in all that is enjoined him holds
himself as a bad and worthless workman, saying with the Prophet: “I am
brought to nothing and I knew it not; I am become as a beast before Thee, and I
am always with Thee” (Ps 72:22-23).
The seventh degree of humility is, when, not only with his
tongue he declares, but also in his inmost soul believeth, that he is the
lowest and vilest of men, humbling himself and saying with the Prophet:
“But I am a worm and no man, the reproach of men and the outcast of the
people” (Ps 21:7).
The eighth degree of humility is, when a monk doeth nothing
but what is sanctioned by the common rule of the monastery and the example of
The ninth degree of humility is, when a monk withholds his
tongue from speaking, and keeping silence doth not speak until he is asked; for
the Scripture shows that “in a multitude of words there shall not want
sin” (Prov 10:19); and that “a man full of tongue is not established
in the earth” (Ps 139:12).
The tenth degree of humility is, when a monk is not easily
moved and quick for laughter, for it is written: “The fool exalts his
voice in laughter” (Sir 21:23).
The eleventh degree of humility is, that, when a monk speaks,
he speak gently and without laughter, humbly and with gravity, with few and
sensible words, and that he be not loud of voice, as it is written: “The
wise man is known by the fewness of his words.”
The twelfth degree of humility is, when a monk is not only
humble of heart, but always lets it appear also in his whole exterior to all
that see him; namely, at the Work of God, in the garden, on a journey, in the
field, or wherever he may be, sitting, walking, or standing, let him always have
his head bowed down, his eyes fixed on the ground, ever holding himself guilty
of his sins, thinking that he is already standing before the dread judgment
seat of God, and always saying to himself in his heart what the publican in the
Gospel said, with his eyes fixed on the ground: “Lord, I am a sinner and
not worthy to lift up mine eyes to heaven” (Lk 18:13); and again with the
Prophet: “I am bowed down and humbled exceedingly” (Ps 37:7-9; Ps
IN SHORT, the 12 degrees of humility are these:
1. Always have the fear of God before your eyes & never forget it
2. Love God's will, not your own.
3. Be obedient to God and your superiors
4. Accept hardships with patience and endurance
5. Humbly confess all your sins to the priest
6. Be happy with having the worst of everything
7. Be happy not only saying but sincerely believing that you are the lowliest of all people
8. Do nothing except what is in the rule of the monks and in the example of elders
9. Do not speak unless asked to speak
10. Be not easily moved or brought to laughter
11. Speak gently, without laughter and with few words.
12. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, believe that you are a sinner and do not lift your eyes from the ground or from your work