St. Benedict's Ladder of Humility: Step 1

In St. Benedict’s Rule, the first step on his ladder of humility is that one must always keep the fear of God before one’s eyes.

As I have said earlier, “fear” isn’t raw, naked terror, but more along the lines of respect. After all, who is God? He is the One who made you: you owe your whole, entire and compete existence to Him. You didn’t create yourself and you shouldn’t end that creation. You do not “own” yourself and have full rights over your body, you owe a certain responsibility to God for your life.

St. Benedict was referring to sin. From the Psalms:

Psalm 36:2;

Sin directs the heart of the wicked; their eyes are closed to the fear of God.

Leading to:

Psalm 7:10;

Bring the malice of the wicked to an end; uphold the innocent, O God of justice, who tries hearts and minds.

God knows what is in your heart and your mind, it can never be concealed from Him. So much of our sinning we do in the dark, or think we do there, but nothing is hidden in the dark from the Lord.

You need only read Psalm 139 to get tremendous, and comforting, insights:

O LORD, you have probed me, you know me:
you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar.
My travels and my rest you mark; with all my ways you are familiar.
Even before a word is on my tongue, LORD, you know it all.
Behind and before you encircle me and rest your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is beyond me, far too lofty for me to reach.
Where can I hide from your spirit? From your presence, where can I flee?
If I ascend to the heavens, you are there; if I lie down in Sheol, you are there too.
If I fly with the wings of dawn and alight beyond the sea,
Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely darkness shall hide me, and night shall be my light”
Darkness is not dark for you, and night shines as the day. Darkness and light are but one.
You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works!
My very self you knew; my bones were not hidden from you,
When I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be.
How precious to me are your designs, O God; how vast the sum of them!
Were I to count, they would outnumber the sands; to finish, I would need eternity…
…Probe me, God, know my heart; try me, know my concerns.
See if my way is crooked, then lead me in the ancient paths.

God knows where you are, every step of the way, from the moment He formed you in your momma’s womb, and thereafter onward. There is no hiding.

Humility has a definition from the meeting rooms of AA that goes something like “humility is accepting reality for what it is, adjusting your life to that reality, and being content with the result.” Take out the word “reality” and put in its place the word “God” and you get:

“Humility is accepting God for what He is, adjusting your life to God, and being content with the result.”

A pretty fair summation of the first step of the Ladder of Humility.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"


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