The Third Step of Humility

The third step of humility is that a man submits to his superior in all obedience for the love of God, imitating the Lord of whom the Apostle says: “He became obedient to the point of death.” (Phil 2:8) Rule of St. Benedict


The mystery of monastic obedience, and its only justification, is based on Jesus’ submission to his heavenly Father.  Throughout his thirty-three years on earth, he not only obeyed his heavenly Father but also his mother Mary and his stepfather Joseph.  This submission to his Father was carried out to the end of his life, as he obediently accepted even death, death on a cross!
Following the example of Christ, the monk promises to remain obedient “even unto death” in the monastery.  The monastic obedience implies fidelity and daily submission to the will of God, to the Church which is Christ’s Body, to the Rule, to the monastic tradition, to the Father of the community, and to one another.  Obedience allows the monk to become a servant as Christ became for our sake.  Obedience, for the monk, is expressed ultimately in the humble respect he shows towards the abbot, the brethren, and all those he comes in contact with, seeing Christ in all of them.

Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette

Blessings of the Daily, A Monastic Book of Days