The Rule of St. Benedict: Chapter 7 Pt. 16
In this last reading from Chapter 7, our Father Benedict gives both the twelfth step of humility, which has to do with physical demeanor, and the conclusion to what Sr. Joan calls "a strangely wonderful and intriguingly distressing treatise on the process of the spiritual life."
Although this passage addresses outward, physical appearance, it also describes an inward state of being. The inward state is one wherein we live with an acute awareness of the egoic self-interests that lie hidden at the core of our personality. These are our "sins at every moment," which corrupt even the best of our motives and intentions. This state of self-awareness is the top rung of the ladder--this ascent by descent--that Benedict describes in chapter 7. When we reach it, although the false self feels demolished and helpless, we have "presently come to that perfect love of God which casts out fear," our true and eternal home.