The monks at Ampleforth belong to the Benedictine Order and their Rule, written by St Benedict, has been hugely creative for over 1500 years. St Benedict thought that the most important function of monks is to pray. The monks pray in church five times a day and after each prayer the monks bow and say ‘Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen’.
What does this really mean? I suppose at one level I have a tendency to be self-important and this prayer counters this tendency by giving my perception of my importance away to a bigger reality. This is in fact the truth because my self-importance is actually nowhere on the societies list of priorities and as one of the monks reminded me, it isn’t about me. God gives talents to billions of other people who by expressing their talents improve society and improve my life, so glory is due to them and their maker. The word ‘humus’, meaning earth, is the derivation of the word humility which therefore means to be grounded and down to earth. Humility keeps us in touch with reality and counters our tendency to dream and act beyond our capability while working practically in teams to be creative. Reality will then eventually express the full creativity of God through Jesus.