Humility: The Eighth Step
The eighth step of humility is that you do only what is endorsed by the common rule, the monastery, and the example set by your superior.
(Find a translation of the Rule of St. Benedict here.)
Our culture encourages us to focus on ourselves as individuals, so we are accustomed to asserting our identity. We all want to be different from others, we all want to be special and unique. We all want to choose our path. The problem is that when we just go our own way, we go alone. We don’t have the strength of others to help carry us and guide us. We can easily get lost.
Benedict is telling us to value others and be open to learning from the wisdom they have to teach us. There are good people in our families and communities. Others who have gone before us have experience and wisdom. If we connect ourselves with these wise teachers, then we don’t have to be our own guides. Rather than traveling a path alone, we can share it and walk beside others.
Sister Jacqueline Leiter, OSB is a Benedictine Sister of St. Paul's Monastery in Maplewood, Minnesota. Learn more about Sister Jacqueline here.