Listen carefully, my child, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart. This is advice from a father who loves you; welcome it, and faithfully put it into practise.
– The Rule of St. Benedict, Prologue, 1
This one word, Listen, causes us to settle down because it startles us into realizing that what Benedict is asking of us is to enter into an actual relationship. Here is a person gently inviting me into a dialogue, both with himself through his Rule and with God through scripture. There is great danger any time we talk about God. The church and the history of the church is replete with people who have read scripture but who have missed hearing God’s voice. If our vocation as Christians is to respond to God’s call in our lives, then we are only able to do that by setting aside our preconceptions and quieting our own voices and listening, intentionally, now, here, today.
Today, if you hear my voice, harden not your heart.
– Psalm 94:7