The Rule of St. Benedict: Chapter 7 Pt. 8
The fourth degree of humility is that he hold fast to patience with a silent mind when in this obedience he meets with difficulties and contradictions and even any kind of injustice, enduring all without growing weary or running away.
I find this translation very helpful in understanding this degree of humility. I struggle daily to "hold fast to patience with a silent mind" in the face of my circumstances.
One reason my grip on patience often slips is because I am actually holding more tightly to my expectations about how the world should appear than I am to my connection to Christ within, a connection maintained through a "silent mind" from which the quality of patience arises. When I add "Br. Chad being patient" to my list of expectations about how the world ought to be, I am setting myself up to be disappointed. But when, through persistent spiritual practice, I am empowered to carry a silent mind with me and enabled, by the gift of Grace, to perceive the Christ Reality in the midst of my other sense perceptions, patience holds fast to me. I am no longer at the mercy of my desires and expectations when I encounter circumstances hostile to them.
Life within a vowed religious community comes loaded with many expectations about how such a life ought to look. Part of holding fast to patience with a silent mind is releasing such expectations and opening to the Reality of what is. We are called to trust God's vested interest in our vocations and formation even when "difficulties and contradictions and even any kind of injustice" invade our circumstances. May we not grow weary or run away, but rather "take courage and wait for the Lord."