From today’s Gospel reading: ‘For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me’.

Here, to go with it, are two texts from the Holy Rule of St Benedict:

‘Hearken, my son, to the precepts of thy master and incline the ear of thy heart; freely receive and faithfully fulfil the instructions of thy loving father, that by the labour of obedience thou mayest return to him from whom thou hast strayed by the sloth of disobedience. To thee are my words now addressed, whosoever thou mayest be that renouncing thine own will to fight for the true King, Christ, dost take up the strong and shining weapons of obedience’.

‘Therefore they choose the narrow way, according to the Lord’s words: Narrow is the way which leadeth unto life; so that not living by their own will, in the service of their own desires and pleasures, but walking by another’s judgement and orders, they dwell in monasteries, and desire to have an abbot over them. Assuredly such as these imitate that saying of the Lord wherein he saith: “I came not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me”’.

Obedience is elsewhere referred to in the Holy Rule as ‘the good of obedience’. It is countercultural in our own day to walk ‘by another’s judgement and orders’, but it is a sure way to come to God, as the Rule itself explains. May we all live out this great virtue in our calling, whatever that may be, and may God bless you.