Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election arrived to us and Congress this week sober and serious, albeit in the form of a four-page summary by Attorney General William Barr. In the course of Mueller's investigation, 34 people have been indicted, six of them Trump advisors; seven entered guilty pleas, five have been convicted and are in jail or on their way. All of them lied about something. I can't think of any better time to talk about the fifth degree of humility.
This fifth degree of humility, St. Benedict of Nursia teaches, is that "we do not conceal our sinful thoughts or any wrongs committed in secret … but confess them humbly." What!?
It's clear now what God wants — a sense of the Presence of God within us, openness to direction as we grow, and the patience to endure the process of self-development and the frustrations of trying to heal the world. But here's the question that goes with this next degree of humility — the tough one, the life-changing one: If those things are what God wants for you, what precisely do you want for you?
Up to now, the Rule of Benedict has been focusing us on our relationship to God, our commitment to the will of God, our reliance on wisdom figures to help guide our way through life. Then, suddenly, Benedict shifts our attention from the outside world and its role in our growth to the world within us and our willingness to face it.
It's here that the steps of humility get real, even stop us in our tracks.