Poem: St Benedict’s ‘Rule’

160821 benedicts ladder  POETRY LITURGY

It’s tough to be humble. St Benedict (AD480-547), who is called the ‘Father of Western Monasticism’, wrote a guide to humility – that guide is a chapter within St Benedict’s Rule.

It set out a blueprint for the daily life of the monks within his monasteries, and, maybe, for us, too? The ‘Rule’ is essentially a twelve steps guide to humility, and is likened to a ladder that we each should seek to climb in our daily life.

Here’s a poem I wrote some time ago, about ‘The Rule’:

Saint Benedict’s ‘Rule’, those twelve steps to humility,
is like a ladder that we each should seek to climb in our daily life, to ascend.
For in applying them to our life we might achieve holiness, and sanctity,
and reach bliss and tranquillity now, and to the end.

The first step is to really know God, to ‘see’ Him all in all.
and the second step is to joyfully discern and follow His Divine will.
The third step is to obey God in things in life, both great and small,
and the fourth step is to be patient and kind, to endure, and endeavour to be tranquil.
The fifth step is to be honest about our shortcomings, and accept blame,
and the sixth step is to be content with what we have, even with a little in life.
The seventh step, tough though it is, is to keep one’s ego humble and tame,
and the eighth step is not to seek out differences with others, but live without strife.
The ninth step is that in our speech we should show restraint,
and the tenth step is that (when appropriate) desire to be of a serious mind.
The eleventh step is to encourage others with words of love, and without complaint,
and the twelfth step is to combine in equal measure, both intent and action, to be loving and kind.




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