Welcome to our Annual Summer Retreat, posted here as a mini-online retreat for you. As the woman at the well went at noon to be refreshed and gather water for the day, so we must return readily to our own Divine wellspring. Our time together will provide an opportunity to drink fully from the well that is Benedictine Spirituality.
By Benedictine Sisters Mary Core and Stefanie MacDonald
All Benedictine values are deeply intertwined with one another, and obedience is no different. It comes from the Latin, obedire, which means to listen. It’s the first word of St. Benedict’s Rule.
We might think it’s okay to listen, but obey???
Our culture is allergic to the idea of obedience, no matter what its origin! Just imagine not being independent enough to do what we want, when we want!
But Benedictine obedience means so much more. It begins with listening … to God, our heart and our community.
Obedience – deep listening – calls us to put the other first.
It calls us to decrease, so that God can increase.
So that our own will becomes the same as God’s will.
Obedience calls us to live into the image of God … by putting on, as St. Paul says, the mind of Christ.
Everyday examples are large and small. We might battle over the use of a car, the purchase of an item or a chore that needs to be done. (I did it last time!)
In every case, deep, gentle, Christlike listening leads to understanding. It leads to putting the needs of the other over the wants of ourselves.
This deep listening, Obedience, is a daily, and lifelong, process.
Because as soon as we think we’ve got it down – that we’re in a good place where we’re listening and living into who we’re called to be – WHAM!
We’re asked to obey in a whole new way:
We lose our job. We get sick. We age.
There are endless forms of obedience – including obedience to our own bodies – that we’re asked to cooperate with. We can either fight them, or cooperate with them and discover the Grace they hold.
Obedience – deep listening – leads to Grace. To honest relationship. To growth and to God.