The Fourth Step to Humility
‘The fourth step of humility is that, when in the very act of obeying one meets with trials and even abuse… a man should neither grow faint nor run away.’
Benedict’s rule is manly. He is training soldiers for Christ and he doesn’t tolerate deserters. Humility is the heart of being Christ-like and we need to face the fact that this will not only be difficult; it will be the most difficult thing we will ever attempt.
Being truly obedient to the teachings of the Catholic Church and to our superior requires fortitude and sheer strength. Standing up for Christ in the midst of our soft, indulgent world takes backbone.
We often perceive humility as being a weak virtue. That is because we think of a humble person as an obsequious, timid little person who is like the mild mannered Clark Kent. We think of the humble person as a lowly doormat – someone everyone else can trample down.
Just the reverse is true.
The truly humble person has got a will that has been strengthened by sheer determination, perseverance and constant self mastery. If you have seen the film The Mission you may remember the scene where the former slave trader is ordered to bear the cruel tools of his trade up a cliff. His determination to complete his penance is a mark of sheer humility and strength together.
The humble man may seem like a delicate creature, but beneath the meek and mild exterior the humble man is a man of steel.