“Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance” (St. Augustine, Letter 18). At the root of Francis of Assisi’s on-going conversion was the movement towards a fuller realization of humility in his own life: from son of a privileged, wealthy merchant to a lesser brother following the footsteps of Christ. From one well-dressed and flamboyant as a young man to one who asked to be laid naked upon the ground at the time of his death. From one hiding from God, to one laid bare, knowing that what he was before God he was that and nothing more. Along the way he discovered and lived all the other virtues.
Admonition Twenty-Three: Humility
1 Blessed is the servant who has been found humble among his subjects as he was among his masters.
2 Blessed is the servant who always remains under the rod of correction.
3 Faithful and prudent is the servant who does not delay in punishing himself for all his offenses, inwardly through contrition and outwardly through confession and penance for what he did.