From our Old Testament reading, from 1 Samuel: ‘Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams’. Words from the Prologue to the Rule of St Benedict come instantly to mind: ‘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’.

Careful listening to the ‘still, small voice within’, and the loving words from outside ourselves, demand a certain humility, a recognition that we are not our own final authority: God is, and we recognise the mediation of that authority, in monastic life, through the Superior. This listening obedience, and our faithful response, is the root of Benedictine peace – with God, with our neighbour, with ourselves.

May God bless you as you walk a path of peace this day.