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Friday, 31 January 2014

The Steps of Humility and Community; Perfection II:xii

St. Bernard writes that the first two steps of humility of the monk start and are accomplished outside the monastery.

These are:  In the fear of God to be constantly on watch against sin.


Not to love one's own will.

The first is the first step on the road to perfection as well. One must decide to be detached from all mortal and venial sin. One must live in the fear of the Lord concerning one's salvation. This determination is part of our baptismal promises.

One must be on the watch and not take our salvation for granted.

The second goal, which is also found outside the monastery, is not to love one's own will. This means having a spiritual director or a good, regular confessor. This means daily prayer. This means brutal honesty with one's self.

That these happen first before community is key to those who are thinking about community.

Community builds on the first and second conversions. Only when one is dedicated to the life of perfection, can one succeed in community. First, a conversion to Christ and then a conversion to the baptismal promises and the life of the virtues.

To be continued....