St. Benedict's Ladder of Humility: Step 5

The Fifth Step on St. Benedict’s Ladder of Humility is that a person does not conceal any sinful thoughts, or any wrongs committed in secret, but humbly confesses them.

The Step was intended for monks to do this in respect to his abbot (man who is in charge of the monastery), but we also can do this with our priests in Confession.

Psalm 32:5;

Then I declared my sin to you; my guilt I did not hide. I said, “I confess my faults to the LORD,” and you took away the guilt of my sin.

It is out of pride that we refuse to confess. From the blasphemous mortal sin of presuming that God cannot forgive a serious sin, to just concealing something out of embarrassment, pride is the agent here. We must confess our sins to a priest for absolution and penance, this at least humbles us by bringing our misdeeds to the light of day.

From Step 5 of various 12 Step movements:

Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

So even a non-religious group feels that it is of great importance to reveal to another one’s wrongdoings. There is a certain catharsis in doing so, a definite change is felt within by the act of confessing, either in sacramental Confession or in “doing the Fifth Step” with someone.

Feeling that you can just confess sins straight to God is just a cop-out. Explore your feelings deep within, and if you’re honest, you’ll discover that you’re not being “pious” in talking to God, you’re running away from the sins and embarrassment they cause.

Confessing to another introduces you to the concept of “honesty”, another humility-inducing act.

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"

One Comment

  1. Harry,I think the reason so few people take advantage of the sacrament of Reconciliation is precisely what you alluded to; our pride and our embarrassment, which leads to lack of personal responsibility. We need to be reminded that we must take responsibility for our actions, but take heart in knowing that if we are humble and contrite, that God will forgive us and help us to follow His path.

Comments are closed.