The Rule of St. Benedict: Prologue, part 1
Listen carefully, my child,
to your master’s precepts,
and incline the ear of your heart.
Receive willingly and carry out effectively
your loving father's advice,
that by the labor of obedience
you may return to God
from whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience.
To you, therefore, my words are now addressed,
whoever you may be,
who are renouncing your own will
to do battle under the Lord Christ, the true King,
and are taking up the strong, bright weapons of obedience.
What might you have heard that first time? What would have captured your imagination or cut you to the quick? What would have scared you? What would have offered comfort?
As you sit in that room, you hear that your first priority along the Benedictine way is to develop the capacity to listen with the ear of your heart to the Voice of God in your every given circumstance. Your second priority is to learn to obey that Voice rather than your own.
You hear that this capacity is to be developed and obedience is to be learned through receiving the loving advice of your Holy Father Benedict. This advice calls you into an ordered life that holds a gentle balance between prayer, work, and study that will slowly and persistently shape you into a new person, a fully realized being who dwells in the very Presence of God.