Somewhere along the way in Advent (and every day for Morning Prayer), we hear Mary and her Magnificat: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my Spirit rejoices in God my Savior." The 5th chapter of Joan Chittister's book is entitled "Humility: the lost virtue". In it Chittister describes the Mangificat as humility at its best. Being humble before God. She also describes humility as the center of the rule -- that it leavens the entire document and indeed the entire way of life.
The Magnificat --which is a song to humility, is the antidote to pride. We know of pride. Certainly I do. The bottom line with pride is to think, to believe -- to live, as though we don't need God. That we can get by totally on our own. Writer Parker Palmer refers to this as functional atheism, which is to say that we believe in God but live as though God doesn't exist.
The Rule of Benedict has twelve degrees of humility. Lots to think about. What stands out for me in this long list is that humility demands that we "hold only to give and that we gather only to share."
May it be so.