St. Benedict's Theory Of Humility

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Throughout the different sections of the Rule of St. Benedict the central thing that struck out to me was the notion of humility. In particular, I find the first step of humility, which is the fear of the lord, very interesting because I strong disagree with it. According to St. Benedict humility begins with a fear of God. According to St. Benedict one must “guard himself at every moment from sins and vices” and is “always seen by god in heaven [and] that his actions everywhere are in God’s sight.” I disagree with the notion that humans act with humility or, more generally, virtuously because they are afraid they will go to hell. I think that this demonstrates a very negative view of humanity because it suggests that we are naturally predisposed…show more content…
After considering this, I realized that part of the answer lies in the notion of humility. Saint Benedict believes that the only way to quickly reach “exaltation in heaven” is by climbing “by the humility of this present life.” For monks living life with humility and climbing up the 12 stages of humility was the proper way to live and would eventually lead to salvation. Furthermore, I also think that “after ascending all these steps of humility…[they] will quickly arrive at the perfect love of God which casts out fear.” In essence, after going through the 12 steps then monks will no longer act with humility out of self-interest and a desire to avoid hell, but will “naturally” act out of a “delight in virtue.” I agree with this because I do not believe that we need be threatened with repercussions to act virtuously but it should be something that is instinctively instilled in us. Furthermore, in addition to their moral growth the monks are also “cleansed of vices and sins.” Considering all of these things, then I can better understand monks’ decision to willingly limit their free will and live a life of hardships and strict restraints since they would be guaranteed salvation and act with humility from selfless motivations.
Do you think that 12 steps of humility that St. Benedict defines fulfills his goal
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