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Youth self-help book co-authored by St. Benedict


In a modern world full of cliches, many people find themselves in a constant search for something more in life.This search leads some to the latest self-help book, magazine article or blog post. Fr. Augustine Wetta, a monk at an American abbey, assures the answers lie not in some recent publication, but rather in one that's 1,500 years old. 

Fr. Wetta and his fellow monks subscribe to “The Ladder of Humility,” a 12-step method written by St. Benedict in the fifth century. Their musings on the guide inspired Wetta to make it relatable to today's Christian youth in his book “Humility Rules.” 

FR. AUGUSTINE WETTA
Author, “Humility Rules”

“None of it is original. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, for someone to say, 'You're not actually saying anything new.' It's true, I'm not. I'm just passing along the wisdom that was passed along to me by the old, wiser monks of the monastery.”

While the monk may claim none of his book is original, the accompanying images undoubtedly are. Starting with the cover, traditional paintings of St. Benedict and other saints and clergy are translated into modern pop culture every couple pages, featuring Photoshopped items such as skateboards, laptops and basketballs. 

FR. AUGUSTINE WETTA
Author, “Humility Rules”

“The terrible, terrible advice we give kids on such a regular basis. That if something's keeping them from being happy, it's someone else's fault. I think the only real antidote to that narcissism that we encourage, that we cultivate in our children is humility.”

The author insists with this humility comes genuine self-esteem. The process is certainly more challenging than those promised by get-happy-quick guides, but Fr. Wetta employs humor throughout to remind that it's natural to struggle. 

FR. AUGUSTINE WETTA
Author, “Humility Rules”

“The more imperfect, the more we fail, the more room there is for God's grace to work. That's immensely consoling.”

The book is comprised of brief chapters on each of the twelve steps, guiding readers away from self-importance. So if St. Benedict doing the Heisman pose elicits a quick smile, the “Humility Rules” method will hopefully enable a more permanent one.