The Rule of St. Benedict and the Twelve Steps of Humility
July 11th is the feast day of St. Benedict the great founder of monastic communities all across Italy. St. Benedict was born around 480 AD and died around 543 AD, though the purpose of this post is not to provide the biographical information regarding St. Benedict’s founding numerous monastic communities. You could find more about St. Benedict of Nursia’s life here at New Advent.
What will however be discussed regards St. Benedict’s Rule, that is the Rule that he set down for how to live in a monastic community. After much difficulty in settling monastic communities and maintaining them, St. Benedict set out to write his thoughts regarding the right schedule and life style proper to a monk in a monastic community. The Benedictines and several other monastic orders still keep the Rule of St. Benedict or a modification of it. St. Benedict is in some manner the father of organized monasticism after the fall of Rome. There were other monastic communities that contained documents written by holy saints (like St. Basil’s Rule and St. Augustine’s Rule) but none were so organized and thought out in such a manner as to provide daily guidance and stability as St. Benedict’s Rule. St. Benedict’s piety and patience shows forth very clearly from his Rule, and of one particular importance for today’s focus will be his consideration of humility.
St. Benedict in his Rule considers the twelve steps of humility which each monk is to consider and undertake if he is ever to increase in love as an adopted son of God. Below will be a somewhat brief listing and discussion of his steps of humility. The discussion is taken from Chapter 7 of St. Benedict’s Rule.