Writing in the September edition of the Three Churches Magazine Deacon Sarah Gillard-Faulkner writes:
In recent weeks the opening sentence of Saint Benedict’s Rule has been highlighted to me on more than one occasion. In one translation it states: “Listen Child of God, the Guidance of your teacher.” For me it’s the opening word that is really important. Saint Benedict right from the outset is instructing his followers in a command. Listen! As a music teacher I had often to teach pupils who were to sit GCSE music how to listen. For listening is not just about hearing. It goes much deeper than just hearing the sounds. I would often say to those pupils, listening is when something manages to change you in some way. In getting young people to listen to pieces of music, I was encouraging them to hear distinctly what the composer is trying to portray in his music. It is about listening to the light and shade of a piece, its highs and its lows, the small whispers and the loud exhortations. This I think is what Saint Benedict is instructing his monks. In other translations the rule says: Listen, to the voice of the teacher. The teacher is the only one to whom the Christian should be focused on, that is God. To listen to what he has to say to us through prayer, reading of the scripture, receiving the teaching of the church and the holy sacraments it how we are to be changed. Fr Mark in recent weeks has stated that he wishes us to go back to doing the simple things and doing them well. Not to be busying ourselves with too much but to be focusing ourselves on doing things well for Christ. And in doing so giving ourselves both as individuals and as communities dedicated to following the way of the Lord to LISTEN! How can we ever do his will if we don’t even know what it is?