Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER V: CONCERNING OBEDIENCE - The Rule of St. Benedict
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CHAPTER V: CONCERNING OBEDIENCE - Saint Benedict, The Rule of St. Benedict 
The Rule of St. Benedict, translated into English. A Pax Book, preface by W.K. Lowther Clarke (London: S.P.C.K., 1931).
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The first degree of humility is obedience without delay. This is becoming to those who value nothing as more dear to them than Christ, on account of the holy servitude they have professed, whether through fear of hell or on account of the glory of life eternal. As soon as any order has been given by a superior, as being the same as if the order were divinely given, they can brook no delay in carrying it out. Concerning these the Lord says: “As the ear heard, he obeyed Me.” And again He says to teachers: “He who hears you, hears Me.”
Therefore such as these, at once relinquishing what they are doing, desert their own will and quickly freeing their hands by leaving unfinished what they were about, proceed with the foot of ready obedience to carry out the order given; and it is as if, in the case of those upon whom rests the love of attaining to life eternal, both things, the command first spoken by the master and the perfected work of the disciple, were in a single moment, with a quickness due to holy fear of God, mutually unfolded with great swiftness. Thus do they seize the narrow way of which the Lord says: “Narrow is the way that leads to life”; so that not guiding themselves in life by their own judgment they obey not their own desires and wishes, but walking by the judgment and commands of another, pass their life in community and are more than content to have an abbot over them. Without doubt such as these reproduce that maxim of the Lord’s wherein He says: “I came not to do My will, but His Who sent Me.”
But this same obedience will only then be acceptable to God and pleasing to man when that which is ordered be carried out neither with trepidation nor tardily and lukewarmly, nor yet with murmuring and the back answer of one unwilling; for obedience yielded to superiors is an offering laid before God: for Himself He has said: “Who hears you, hears Me.” And with good-will should disciples yield it because it is the cheerful giver God loves. For if it is with ill-will the disciple obeys, if even he murmur in his heart and not only by actual word of mouth, though he fulfil the command, yet will he not now be accepted as obedient by God, Who regardeth the heart of the murmurer. And for such act he earns no reward; but rather he incurs the murmurer’s penalty, unless he amend and make satisfaction.