A little book fell out of my bookcase. I picked it up and discovered it was Always We Begin Again: The Benedictine Way of Living by John McQuiston II. I have no idea where or how I got possession of this slim volume, a “contemporary interpretation” of the Rule of St. Benedict, but I started reading it and find it quite wonderful. Here’s the beginning of what he has to say about humility:
The first stage of humility is to keep the sacred nature of consciousness and the world in which it exists always alive within us.
Everything we think, everything we do, everything we feel, is cast in time forever. Every moment that we live is irreplaceable, therefore each moment is hallowed.
We must be on guard against despair, against fear, against bitterness, against self-seeking, and have the tenacity and courage to think optimistically and act affirmatively, and to put the needs of others always before our own.
The only thing I’m not sure about is putting “the needs of others always before our own.” Over the years, I’ve discovered that if I sometimes don’t take care of myself, I am less than useless to anyone else.