This is the twelfth in a series on St. Benedict for Beginners. – The Editors

“Saint Benedict of Nursia” by Fra Angelico

The Sixth Step to Humility

‘The sixth step of humility is that a monk should be satisfied with whatever is of lowest value or quality.’

Are we really supposed to surround ourselves with everything of poor quality and low value? Not really. St Benedict is not recommending that we intentionally surround ourselves with everything that is tacky, cheap and nasty and poor quality.

What he is recommending is that we be satisfied with what we are given and not to be envious and do everything we can for luxurious belongings, wonderful food and drink and all the best of everything.

Benedict is trying to get us to change our minds and to realize that contentment is great gain. He wants us to be satisfied with what we’ve been given – to not complain and be bitter when we don’t get our own way. He wants us to develop the gratitude attitude.

Benedict always uses the physical possessions and the physical conditions of life to teach a lesson.

The lesson here concerns physical possessions and circumstances. Benedict is trying to destroy the desire to have more and more and better and better. This is not the way to humility and simplicity. He would say, “Stop complaining! Be content! The way of humility is the way of simplicity!”

Benedict would say, “The sooner you decide that you have enough the sooner you will have enough.”

Fr. Dwight Longenecker is the author of “Listen My Son” – a commentary on the Rule of St Benedict for families. Visit Fr. Dwight’s website to buy a copy here.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker is the parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, South Carolina. He is author of thirteen books on the Catholic faith. Praying the Rosary for Inner Healing is available in Catholic bookshops and through his website:

Follow Fr. Longenecker on Facebook:

Please help us in our mission to assist readers to integrate their Catholic faith, family and work. Tell your family and friends about this article using both the Share and Recommend buttons below and via email. We value your comments and encourage you to leave your thoughts below. Thank you! – The Editors

Print this entry