09 February – Daily Reading of the Rule of St. Benedict

 osb
 
February 9, June 10, October 10

Chapter 7: On Humility (Cont.)

The twelfth degree of humility 
is that a monk not only have humility in his heart
 
but also by his very appearance make it always manifest
 
to those who see him.
 
That is to say that whether he is at the Work of God,
 
in the oratory, in the monastery, in the garden, on the road,
 
in the fields or anywhere else,
 
and whether sitting, walking or standing,
 
he should always have his head bowed
 
and his eyes toward the ground.
 
Feeling the guilt of his sins at every moment,
 
he should consider himself already present at the dread Judgment
 
and constantly say in his heart
 
what the publican in the Gospel said
 
with his eyes fixed on the earth:
 
“Lord, I am a sinner and not worthy to lift up my eyes to heaven” (Luke 18:13; Matt. 8:8);
and again with the Prophet:
 
“I am bowed down and humbled everywhere” (Ps. 37[38]:7,9; 118[119]:107).

Having climbed all these steps of humility, therefore, 
the monk will presently come to that perfect love of God
 
which casts out fear.
 
And all those precepts
 
which formerly he had not observed without fear,
 
he will now begin to keep by reason of that love,
 
without any effort,
 
as though naturally and by habit.
 
No longer will his motive be the fear of hell,
 
but rather the love of Christ,
 
good habit
 
and delight in the virtues
 
which the Lord will deign to show forth by the Holy Spirit
 
in His servant now cleansed from vice and sin.

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