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St Gregory the Great tells this story in his ‘Life’ of St Benedict: ‘One day as venerable Benedict was in his cell, the aforesaid young Placidus, a monk of the holy man, went out to the lake to fetch water, and letting down the bucket to take up water, by chance fell in himself after it, and was presently carried away by the stream, a bow’s shoot from the side. This accident was at the same time revealed to the man of God in his cell, who quickly called Maurus, saying: “Run, brother Maurus, for the child who went to fetch water is fallen into the lake, and the stream hath carried him a great way.” A wonderful thing and not heard of since the time of Peter the Apostle! Maurus having asked and received his benediction, upon the command of his Superior went forth in haste, and, being come to the place to which the child was driven by the stream, thinking still he went upon the dry land he ran upon the water, rook him by the hair of the head, and returned speedily back. No sooner had he foot upon firm ground but he came to himself, and perceiving that he had gone upon the water, much astonished, he wondered how he had done that which wittingly he durst not adventure. So, returning to his Superior, he related what had happened, which the venerable man Benedict ascribed to Maurus his prompt obedience, and not to his own merits; but contrariwise Maurus attributed it wholly to his command, not imputing any virtue to himself in that which he had done unwittingly. This humble and charitable contention, the child who was saved, was to decide, for he said: “When I was drawn out of the water, methought I saw my Abbot’s garments over my head and imagined that he had drawn me out.”’

Obedience brings a blessing, it is rightly said – that true listening, and following in action, what is asked of us. May we ourselves truly follow God’s will in our lives, and know His blessing.