EACH MONTH IN THE 12 STEPS OF HUMILITY WE ARE CLIMBING SAINT BENEDICT’S LADDER OF HUMILITY. WITH EACH RUNG WE COME CLOSER TO THE PERFECT LOVE OF GOD.
The ladder is our life on earth, if we humble our heart God will raise it to heaven. ~ St. Benedict
THE ELEVENTH STEP OF HUMILITY:
A monk speaks gently, without laughter, with modesty, briefly and reasonably without raising [her] voice. ~The Rule of Saint Benedict
This is the third step where Benedict addresses communication. Step Nine calls us to listen more than we speak, followed by Step Ten which asks us not to be excessive in our laughter. Today we are encouraged to be brief and gentle when we speak.
Much of the time when someone is talking to us we are too busy in our mind crafting our fabulous response. St. Benedict asks us to restrain our speech with a humble, honoring attitude toward others.
Having listened attentively to the other we can now have our say. We aren’t to be boisterous, bragging or loud. The best rule of thumb might be to remember to respond vs. react.
When we are reactive we are being led by our emotions. But by responding we have given more thought to the words we will say.
This is often difficult and must be practiced consistently for it to become a natural habit, especially with those we are closest to.
Again Saint Benedict comes to us with words of wisdom from an ancient time that are vital to our lives today!
The Rule of Benedict: A Spirituality for the 21st Century by Joan Chittister
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