Humility : An Overarching Theme Within The Rule Of St. Benedict

1302 Words Nov 3rd, 2016 6 Pages
Humility: An Overarching Theme in the Rule of St. Benedict In The Rule of St. Benedict, a large section of the work is devoted to analyzing humility, which seems to run as an overarching theme throughout the work itself. While a focus on all twelve stages of the humility is too large in scope for this assignment, I will be focusing on the fear of the Lord and humility manifest in all facets of life. Prior to analyzing humility, it is important to first define what it is and why it is important. Saint Benedict believes that the only way to quickly reach “exaltation in heaven” is by climbing “by the humility of this present life” (Rule 7.5). For monks, living with humility and climbing up the 12 stages of humility was the proper way to live and would eventually lead to salvation. According to Benedict we “descend by exaltation and ascend by humility” (7.7). The central goal is to ascend from step one, which involves acting with humility out of self-interest and a desire to avoid hell, to higher realms of humility. If a monk goes through all of the twelve steps they will “naturally” act out of love for Christ and a “delight in virtue” (Rule 7.69). According to Benedict the first stage of humility is that “a man keeps the fear of God always before his eyes and never forgets it” (7.10). Benedict claims that one must “guard himself at every moment from sins and vices” and is “always seen by God in heaven [and] that his actions everywhere are in God’s sight” (7.12-13). Benedict…

Related Documents