Fr. Mark’s Excellent Discourse on Humility

Go to Father Mark’s page for the whole post, but here I post his recounting of the 12 steps of Benedict and Bernard, from Vultus Christi:

Humility: Saint Benedict’s Twelve Steps

Humility. There is no getting around it. But what exactly is it? Saint Benedict never defines humility? The twelve steps in Chapter Seven of the Holy Rule are not definitions. The twelve steps are the traces of humility, clues allowing one to detect, and to collect, the evidence of humility. You know the twelve steps: (1) fear of God, (2) abnegation of self-will, (3) obedience, (4) patient endurance, (5) disclosure of the heart, (6) contentedness with what is, (7) lucid self-awareness, (8) submission to the common rule, (9) silence, (10) emotional sobriety, (11) restraint in speech and, (12) congruity between one’s inside and one’s outside.

Pride, Saint Bernard’s Twelve Steps

Pride. Saint Bernard, for his part, identifies the twelve steps of pride. If you would diagnose the deadly soul sickness of pride, look for the following twelve symptoms: (1) curiosity, (2) levity of mind, (3) giddiness, (4) boasting, (5) singularity, (6) self-conceit, (7) presumption, (8) self-justification, (9) hypocritical confession, (10) revolt, (11) freedom to sin and, (12) the habit of sinning.

Vatican Member of Gendarmes Dies in Apparent Suicide


Alessandro Benedetti was found in a bathroom in the barracks of the Vatican Gendarmes with gunshot wounds in the early hours of Monday and rushed to a nearby hospital, where he died 1-1/2 hours later.

“The first indications are that the young man committed suicide,” said a Vatican statement, adding that Benedetti had left a note which was with Vatican investigators. The statement offered no details about possible motives.

Benedetti joined the Gendarmes, who are in charge of the Vatican’s security in which they are assisted by the largely ceremonial Swiss Guards, as a trainee in April.

“His behaviour had not previously given cause for concern”, the Vatican said.

The Vatican said the selection process for the Gendarmes, who are recruited in Italy unlike the Swiss Guards, includes psychological screening for aptitude for firearms.

“The Holy Father (Pope Benedict) was grieved to hear this news and entrusts young Alessandro to God’s mercy,” said the Vatican.

Two Curial Appointments Predicted for Tomorrow

But one happened today! The other involves a new papal master of ceremonies.

From Papa Ratzinger Forum:

One has been bruited about for the past few weeks – Biblical scholar Gianfranco Ravasi, currently prefect of the Ambrosian Library in Milan, to be named President of the Pontifical Council for Culture to succeed retiring Cardinal Paul Poupard. [happened today]

Ravasi will reportedly be one of five prelates to be consecrated as bishops by Pope Benedict XVI at St. Peter’s Basilica on September 29, a first in his Pontificate, along with Mons. Mietek Mocryczky, who will be consecrated Archbishop Coadjutor of Lviv of the Latins (Ukraine).

The other has been long speculated and now there’s even a replacement – the master of papal liturgical ceremonies Archbishop Marini will be replaced by another Marini, Archbishop Guido Marini, 46, who is currently ceremonial master for Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco in Genoa, as has been secretary to Cardinals Canestri, Tettamanzi and Bertone.

The older Marini will be appointed President of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, to succeed retiring Cardinal Jozef Tomko. He reportedly declined taking charge of an Italian diocese, preferring to remain in Rome as part of the Curia, where he has always worked, having started as an assistant to Cardinal Annibale Bugnini, architect of the liturgical reforms put into force by Pope Paul VI.

A Great Site to Catch

The Daily Gospel with a commentary by a Saint or Church Father…

Yesterday’s commentary was from Blessed Charles de Foucald:

Following the servant Christ to the last place

     [Christ:] See [my] devotion to men and consider what your own should be. See that humility for man’s good and learn to humble yourself to do good…; to make yourself small to win others; not to fear to go lower or lose your rights when it is a matter of doing good; not to believe that in descending you make yourself powerless to do good. To the contrary, by descending you imitate me; by descending you make use of the same means, for the love of humankind, that I myself employed; by descending you walk in my way and, therefore, in the truth and you are in the best place to lay hold of life and give it to others…By my incarnation I place myself on a level with creatures; by my baptism …on that of sinners; descent, humility…Always descend, always humble yourself.

Let those who are first always stand in the last place, through humility and in disposition of spirit, with an attitude of descent and service. Love of men, humility, the last place: in the last place so long as the divine will does not call you to another, since then you must obey. Obedience before all else; conformity to God’s will. In the first place be spiritually in the last, through humility: occupy it in the spirit of service, telling yourself that you are only there to serve others and lead them to salvation.

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