Here is St Benedict, holding in his hand a copy of the Holy Rule, of which the first word can clearly be seen: ‘Ausculta’, ‘Listen’. The next words, ‘O fili’, ‘son’, immediately place us in the relationship of a family, gathered around a loving father. It is not institutional, or cold, but warm and full of love. Our listening takes its cue from that. We listen to the precepts of a loving father, who is also ‘master’, giving us the structure which we need in order to grow. We find a stability and a strength.

As we follow this way, let us ‘cherish Christ above all’ as did St Benedict, and may God bless you this day.