Benedict's 12 Degrees of Humility: Step 1

Posted by saintisaac on June 15, 2011 at 11:25 AM


This morning, I am pleased to settle back into my office here at the Peoples Cathedral after many months of serving as a teacher in I AM Academy at our other facility about 2 miles away.  School ended last Friday (6/10) making this the first week I am able to completly focus on all things pastoral!  What a blessing it was to work with the students, my group was 8th - 12th graders.  We made great headway in the areas of reading and writing, etc. but it sure is good to be back in the saddle here at the Cathedral.   

This morning, after a great conversation with an old friend, Father Paul Worhola - priest of Church of the Resurrection near 43rd and Xavier Street in Denver, my mind & heart were drawn to the topic of humility.  More specifically to a portion of the wonderful text by Joan Chittister O.S.B. "Wisdom Distilled from the Daily."  The Daily is of course rooted in the Benedictine Rule, a guide written by Saint Benedict for those pursuing or who find themselves living Monastic lives.  While many of you reading may not consider yourselves monastic in your spiritual practice, I believe there are many nuggets in this text for us normal folks attempting the messy work that can be practicing Christianity in the real world. 

Benedict identifies 12 degrees of humility.  I will not exhaust you with all 12 in this writing, but I do want to spend a few moments reflecting with you on the first step, "The presence of God demands total response."  God is reality!  While many may try to drown His voice out with noise or use gadgets or technology to distract themselves, sooner or later, we will all be forced to reconcile how completely and totally real God is.  Over time, the still small voice of God turns into the loudest voice in our lives.  Dealing with Him will go from being optional, to a necessity.  Humility, is rooted first in our willingness to acknowledge our Creator. 

Oh, how small we become when our eyes turn to heaven and we gaze HIM!  A lifetime of thought only warrants a believer to measure a tiny piece of His greatness.   

"One day the Teacher said, "It is so much easier to travel than to stop." 

"Why?" the disciples demanded to know.

"Because," the Teacher said, "as long as you travel to a goal you can hold on to a dream.  When you stop, you must face reality."

"But how shall we ever change if we have no goals or dreams?" the disciples asked. 

"Change that is real is change that is not willed.  Face reality and unwilled change will happen."

Humility is reality to the full.  Are we willing to be completely immersed in this present moment?  To take our eyes off of where we were yesterday or another memory that we can seem to move slow down our anticipation of tomorrow or that bill that is coming due.  Bury yourself in the NOW!  Open your eyes right now and look around, what are the physical objects around you?  Who are the people coming across your path.  Embrace reality and therefore embrace humility. 

May the Holy Spirit continue to lead you and guide you into all truth, Amen!     

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