From today’s New Testament reading: ‘Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints, practise hospitality’.

These words are fully taken up in the Rule of St Benedict. For instance, Chapter 72: ‘Just as there is an evil zeal of bitterness which separates from God and leads to hell, so is there a good zeal which separates from evil and leads to God and life everlasting. Let monks, therefore, exercise this zeal with the most fervent love. Let them, that is, in honour prefer one another. Let them bear with the greatest patience one another’s infirmities, whether of body or character. Let them vie in paying obedience to one another. Let none follow what seems good for himself, but rather what is good for another. Let them practise fraternal charity with all purity. Let them fear and love God. Let them love their abbot with a sincere and humble charity. Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ; and may he bring us all alike to life everlasting’.

In this way, our lives will bear rich fruit. May we take these words to heart, both of St Paul and St Benedict, and may we thus know ‘the peace that passes all understanding’. May God bless you this day.