This is the first in a series on St. Benedict for Beginners. – The Editors

"Saint Benedict of Nursia" by Fra Angelico

‘Listen my son, to the master’s instructions and attend to them with the ear of your heart.’

Saint Benedict established his simple Christian communities in the sixth century. In the chaos of the crumbling Roman Empire, Benedict’s monasteries were havens of peace, prayer and stability. To help his brothers follow the path of God’s wisdom, Benedict wrote a short rule.

His rule is still the foundation document for Benedictine monasteries around the world. Benedict’s rule is based around the three vows of obedience, stability and conversion of life.

In these opening words of his rule Benedict lays down the groundwork for walking the spiritual path. To grow spiritually we must stop and listen not only with our ears, but with our heart.

For his monks, Benedict was the ‘master’ or teacher, but each of us also needs to find a teacher to turn to. In our daily spiritual lives we need to stop and listen to Christ’s still small voice. It comes to us through Scripture, through the teachings of the Church and through the love of the other people in our lives.

If we will take time to listen and learn at the deepest level of our being, then like Saint Benedict we can build lives that are stable and secure in the midst of a chaotic world.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker is the author of “Listen My Son” – a commentary on the Rule of St Benedict for families. Visit Fr. Dwight’s website to buy a copy here.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker is the parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, South Carolina. He is author of thirteen books on the Catholic faith. Praying the Rosary for Inner Healing is available in Catholic bookshops and through his website:

Follow Fr. Longenecker on Facebook:

Please help us in our mission to assist readers to integrate their Catholic faith, family and work. Tell your family and friends about this article using both the Share and Recommend buttons below and via email. We value your comments and encourage you to leave your thoughts below. Thank you! – The Editors

Print this entry