This third degree, or rung, of humility seems especially hard to climb for us Westerners. Individualism reigns supreme around here. If not in the outer realm of Ayn Rand-inspired political positions, it reigns inwardly through our enthroned egos, our unfeigned devotion to "our own truth." Sr. Joan writes,
Benedict argues that the third rung on the ladder of humility is the ability to submit ourselves to the wisdom of another. We are not the last word, the final answer, the clearest insight into anything. We have one word among many to contribute to the mosaic of life, one answer of many answers, one insight out of multiple perspectives. Humility lies in learning to listen to the words, directions and insights of the one who is a voice of Christ for me now.
Our Father Benedict's intention is for each human being to discover and live according to his true Self, created as a unique expression of God's own life. But, ironically, if the only voice we heed is our own, we find ourselves unable to embark on the inner journey, unable to climb the mystical ladder, that will, through perseverance, lead us there.