Rule of St. Benedict: Chapter 5: On Obedience, May 24, 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

A Franciscan Solitary in Scotland and I are discussion the Principles of the First Order Franciscans. Yesterday’s principle read:

“The First Order Principles, Day 23. Works (Cont’d.)

“The brothers and sisters must be glad at all times to relieve those who come to them for help or counsel. They must never give the impression that they have no time for such ministry. Rather must they be ready to lay aside all other work, including even the work of prayer, where such service is immediately required, confident that such a negligence will surely be well-pleasing to the Servant of all.”

I like the word “glad” here. Use of “glad” might cause one to ask why one is not glad and what one must do about it. To my mind, a different take on “”God loves a cheerful giver” which we have all heard so often, particularly at the Offertory.

Seems to me God not only wants our obedience but also for us to be happy in obeying, by obeying, as a result of obeying. Does it seem that way to you?

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