grumble grumble

Rule of St. Benedict 40:9: "Above all else we admonish them to refrain from grumbling."

We do it quietly, often unnoticed by ourselves: we complain and grumble. We are not happy and we certainly know why: it’s the boss’s fault, the neighbor’s, the situation’s. It seems to be an ancient temptation. Saint Benedict warns his monks 13 times in the Rule, as he is saying:

First and foremost, there must be no word or sign of the evil of grumbling, no manifestation of it for any reason at all. If, however, anyone is caught grumbling, let him undergo more severe discipline. (Rule of St. Benedict 34:6-7)

Grumbling is a slow poison. It is an evil and, yet, we like to do it together. We seek “friends” of whom we think would affirm our complaints. And so we go down to bathe together in the pool of gossip and negativity. It is infectious.

Where does healing come from? It all starts with awareness. “Jesus realized the intention of their hearts” (Luke 9:46). What a blessings that before Him nothing is hidden. It is not wild to grumble, it is terribly passive. It is, instead, wild if we catch ourselves and stop it. As we breathe and discern, we will be able to decide either to do something or to accept the situation. St. Benedict also knows “justifiable grumbling” (cf RB 41:5). Go and talk to your boss. Go and see your neighbor. Or trust that God has placed you in this situation to grow and to learn something.

God is good. Obeying God means to listen what the situation is calling us to, and to freely respond. With St. Benedict’s words: “Obedience will be acceptable to God and agreeable to men only if compliance with what is commanded is not cringing or sluggish or half-hearted, but free from any grumbling or any reaction of unwillingness. (…) Furthermore, the disciples’ obedience must be given gladly, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (Rule of St. Benedict 5:14.16)

Dear God, stop me if you see me grumbling. Chase away the negativity. Let me understand where you want me to go, what you want me to do. Let me admit what I really need. I don’t want to despise the gifts you are giving me. I want to gratefully accept them. And I know I can respond to the challenges you have placed in my life with your help.

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6 thoughts on “grumble grumble

  1. Wow, this came at a perfect time for me! I am affirmed in the need to talk with a loved one about important issues instead of grumbling about them and not dealing with them. I grew up in a family where we swept things under the rug and did not deal with them, so it has been hard for me to break out of this pattern. I feel God leading me to be bold, even though it is still scary. God is so good and provides me with the tools I need to do his will. Thank you Mauritius, for bringing God’s wisdom to me today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. thanks for the helpful words. trust me , i’m prone to grumble about all kinds of things. prayerfully i’m better but the reminder is as always timely. thanks Fr. Mauritius. steve mitchel

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 1. Cor. 10:13 says:
    “No temptation has overtaken you except was is common to mankind. But God is faithful, He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
    And the today’s devotional in ‘Jesus Calling’ by Sarah Young says (it’s too beautiful in this context for not sharing):
    “The best way to befriend your problems is to thank Me for them. This simple act opens your mind to the possibility of benefits flowing from your difficulties. (….) The next step is to introduce them to Me, enabling Me to embrace them in My loving Presence. I will not necessarily remove your problems, but My wisdom is sufficient to bring good out of every one of them.”

    Grumbling is certainly one way to cut myself off from the blessings of God’s faithfulness.
    Thank you, Fr. Mauritius, your impulses always give me a lot to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

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