Thursday, May 17, 2007

Obedience and Counsel

A lot of the trust we repose in our leaders, spiritual and political, is due to the perception that we have been listened to. I was struck by this interplay between listening and obedience again when I read today's portion of the rule of St Benedict.

Chapter 3: On Calling the Brethren for Counsel

Whenever any important business has to be done in the monastery, let the Abbot call together the whole community and state the matter to be acted upon. Then, having heard the brethren's advice, let him turn the matter over in his own mind and do what he shall judge to be most expedient.The reason we have said that all should be called for counsel is that the Lord often reveals to the younger what is best.

Let the brethren give their advice with all the deference required by humility,and not presume stubbornly to defend their opinions; but let the decision rather depend on the Abbot's judgment, and all submit to whatever he shall decide for their welfare.

However, just as it is proper for the disciples to obey their master, so also it is his function to dispose all things with prudence and justice.

Are there leaders in your life with whom you are having difficulties relating right now?

And is there something they and/or you could do to improve the level of communication?

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