‘Listen my son, to the master’s instructions and attend to them with the ear of your heart.’
Saint Benedict established his simple Christian communities in the sixth century. In the chaos of the crumbling Roman Empire, Benedict’s monasteries were havens of peace, prayer and stability. To help his brothers follow the path of God’s wisdom, Benedict wrote a short rule.
His rule is still the foundation document for Benedictine monasteries around the world. Benedict’s rule is based around the three vows of obedience, stability and conversion of life.
In these opening words of his rule Benedict lays down the groundwork for walking the spiritual path. To grow spiritually we must stop and listen not only with our ears, but with our heart.
For his monks, Benedict was the ‘master’ or teacher, but each of us also needs to find a teacher to turn to. In our daily spiritual lives we need to stop and listen to Christ’s still small voice. It comes to us through Scripture, through the teachings of the Church and through the love of the other people in our lives.
If we will take time to listen and learn at the deepest level of our being, then like Saint Benedict we can build lives that are stable and secure in the midst of a chaotic world.