Embracing Obedience

09-27-2020Gospel RelfectionBr. John-Marmion Villa

While many of us have learned to maintain our composure, we know that deep within, there flows a river of molten negativity that monastic spirituality calls grumbling. It is so common in monastic life that the Rule of St. Benedict admonishes against this in several places throughout. The prevalence of grumbling in the Rule 2 and even in our own personal and spiritual lives 2 shows us an area of growth well worth embracing: obedience seen as humility.

A few suggestions to gain control of our tendency to grumble. Breathe deeply even in the middle of the stressful situation. A few deep breaths not only calms your nerves, but helps to gain control over your thoughts. Smile, without being disrespectful, and laugh, whenever possible to lighten the mood. In the midst of a difficult situation these help to relieve tension in the air by recognizing it, calling it out, and allowing the Lord to provide an alternative approach. Journal gratitude is a way to recall the Lord’s Hand even in the smallest way through the chaos of the day. Either in the morning with your cup of coffee, or in the evening before going to bed, this is helpful to recall the day and see that the Lord was with us even in the storm. Pray into situations beforehand. This is not always possible, but when it is, we can take some time in silence and prayer with the Lord to ask Him to guide us especially in our dealing with difficulties. Speak honorably and gracefully. Our speech does not have to be hijacked by our emotions. We can speak words of grace even when we are flooding with grumbling and negative emotions. It seems impossible, but on the contrary, with much discipline and effort, it indeed is possible to make progress.

Ezekiel 18:25-28
Philippians 2:1-11 or 2:1-5
Matthew 21:28-32