CHAPTER 7 Humility - The Way to God

The chapter on humility, by its length and position in the Rule, is the heart of Benedict’s presentation of the way to God. Often the word humility brings to mind lowliness, humiliation, or servitude. The derivation of the word humility comes from the Latin word humus translated “earth.” What a difference this could make in our understanding of humility if we think of it as being of the earth and centered on the earth. All that we have, all that we are is gift from God. We are incomplete without God. Therefore, to seek God is fundamental: “You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” (Confessions of Saint Augustine – Book I)

To be humble is to realize that all my virtues and abilities come from God. Self-importance and ego must diminish so that I can begin to see the ever-present God in everyone and everything. Growing in humility, being of the earth and centered on the earth, helps me to seek God in every situation and in every person. The seeking opens my heart to see that every person, for that matter every created thing, is the manifestation of God.