Obedience creates a framework within which St. Benedict's vision of life can flourish, and the greatest threat to this framework isn't a defiant refusal to obey, but murmuring. The activity of murmuring, or grumbling, establishes a realm of relationship that exists outside the circle of mutual trust, and, from the outside, attacks the common life. A Benedictine community can handle legitimate complaints and even blatant disobedience within this framework, but not murmuring, which forms the heart of the murmurer into a place of conflict and deceit.
Murmuring derives from feelings of opposition to the community's leadership. Appropriately addressing those feelings directly to the leadership is not murmuring, nor is acknowledging them in prayer and letting them go. But when we welcome, feed, and house them in the privacy of our hearts and in the hearing of our confidants, they keep us from being able to listen and respond to God with joyful action.