Benedict's 12-step Guide to Humility
It's hard to be humble. St. Benedict (480-547), called the "Father of Western Monasticism", wrote a guide to humility that is still popular today. The guide is a chapter within Benedict's Rule, which set forth a blueprint for the life of the monks within his monasteries. The following excerpt summarizes this ladder to humility.
From "Steps to Humility":
Brethren, the Holy Scripture cries to us saying: "Every one that exalts himself shall be humbled; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted."
"The first degree of humility, then, is that a man always have the fear of God before his eyes shunning all forgetfulness and that he be ever mindful of all that God hath commanded… .
"The second degree of humility is, when a man loveth not his own will, nor is pleased to fulfill his own desires but by his deeds carrieth out that word of the Lord which saith: 'I came not to do My own will but the will of Him that sent Me.'
"The third degree of humility is, that for the love of God a man subject himself to a Superior in all obedience, imitating the Lord, of whom the Apostle saith: 'He became obedient unto death.'
"The fourth degree of humility is, that, if hard and distasteful things are commanded, nay, even though injuries are inflicted, he accept them with patience and even temper, and not grow weary or give up… .
"The fifth degree of humility is, when one hideth from his Abbot none of the evil thoughts which rise in his heart or the evils committed by him in secret, but humbly confesseth them.
"The sixth degree of humility is, when a monk is content with the meanest and worst of everything, and in all that is enjoined him holdeth himself as a bad and worthless workman, saying with the Prophet: 'I am brought to nothing and ...