Community on retreat 22-30 July. Services open; shop closed.

The first degree of humility, then…

The first degree of humility, then, is that a man keep the fear of God before his eyes, altogether shunning forgetfulness. Let him ever remember all the commandments of God and how hell will burn for their sins those that despise him; and let him constantly turn over in his heart the eternal life which is prepared for those that fear him. And guarding himself always from sins and vices, whether of thought, word, hand, foot or self-will, and checking also the desires of the flesh, let him consider that God is always beholding him from heaven, that his actions are everywhere visible to the eye of the Godhead, and are constantly being reported to God by the angels. The prophet shows this to us when he represents God as always present in our thoughts, in the words: God searcheth the heart and the reins.1 And again: The Lord knoweth the thoughts of men.2 And again he saith: Thou hast understood my thoughts from afar;3 and: The thought of man shall confess to thee.4 In order then that he may be careful regarding his wrongful thoughts, let the good brother say constantly in his heart: Then shall I be spotless before him, if I shall have kept myself from my iniquity.5

1Ps vii,10
2Ps xciii, 11
3Ps cxxxviii, 3
4Ps lxxv, 11
5Ps xvii, 24