Rule of St. Benedict: Chapter 5: On Obedience, January 23, 2017

January 23, May 24, September 23

Chapter 5: On Obedience

But this very obedience

will be acceptable to God and pleasing to all

only if what is commanded is done

without hesitation, delay, lukewarmness, grumbling, or objection.

For the obedience given to Superiors is given to God,

since He Himself has said,

“He who hears you, hears Me” (Luke 10:16).

And the disciples should offer their obedience with a good will,

for “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7).

For if the disciple obeys with an ill will

and murmurs,

not necessarily with his lips but simply in his heart,

then even though he fulfill the command

yet his work will not be acceptable to God,

who sees that his heart is murmuring.

And, far from gaining a reward for such work as this,

he will incur the punishment due to murmurers,

unless he amend and make satisfaction.

Some thoughts:
It is not just obedience God wants from us, but a glad, happy obedience. How do we do that? Isn’t just human nature to compare ourselves to others? Do we curse our someone on the highway for cutting us off and then forget to use our own directional?
The glad heart is crucial, Benedict says. So crucial that unless we have have it, our work, no matter how good, will never please the Lord. But what can we do about this? Our burdens are heavy. We feel as if it is all on our shoulders.
I don’t have any answer. I am one who will meet all of my responsibilities but I do not always rejoice over them. Far from it.
Perhaps we can join together and help each other figure out how to obey without grumbling.

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