Your decision to serve is a commitment to a life of humility. To reach the highest peak of humility, one must climb a ladder much like Jacob’s, upon which he saw angels climbing up and down. Ascend the ladder by humbling yourself; descend by praising yourself.
- The first step of humility is prompt obedience. This obedience must be without fear, laziness, hesitancy or protest. Work done in a dispirited or grudging manner will go without reward, and may actually earn punishment.
- The second step of humility is the rejection of self-will and self-pleasure. Careless and self-serving ways have no place in your life. “Self-will has its punishment, necessity its crown.” (Acts of the Martyrs)
- The third step of humility is obedient submission to your superiors in all things. You must believe that your superiors know what is best for you, and you must act accordingly.
- The fourth step of humility is patient and quiet acceptance of everything inflicted upon you, whether painful, unjust, or even against your nature. When struck on one cheek, turn the other; when forced to carry a burden one mile, go two.
- The fifth step of humility is to keep no secrets from your superiors. Declare your offences, whether of thought or deed, openly and without hesitation.
- The sixth step of humility is contented recognition of your station as a poor and worthless workman who must always do his best and try his hardest in all appointed tasks.
- The seventh step of humility is a confession of your inferiority in the depths of your heart.
- The eighth step to humility is to seek only that which the common good of the household you serve or the example of your superiors demands.
- The ninth step of humility is silence. Speak only when asked a question or given permission to speak.
- The tenth step of humility is restraint from laughter and frivolity. A sense of humour may be highly valued by your superiors, but unrestrained laughter and frivolity are disruptive to the serenity of the household.
- The eleventh step of humility is to speak gently, without jests, simply, seriously, tersely, rationally, and softly. A few words well spoken are more effective than rambling discourses.
- The twelfth step of humility is to live with humility in your heart, in your appearance, and in your actions. Whether sitting, standing or walking, keep your head down, eyes on the ground. Know in your heart and show in your actions that you are “bowed down and totally humbled.” (Psalms)
When you have climbed all twelve steps you will find the love which casts out all fear, by which everything observed anxiously before will now appear simple and natural.