Maturity comes only when confronting what has to be confronted within ourselves. This is where the vows relate, and illuminate each other. For stability means that I must not run away from where my battles are being fought, that I have to stand still where the real issues have to be faced. Obedience compels me to re-enact in my own life that submission of Christ himself, even though it may lead to suffering and to death. And conversatio, openness, means that I must be ready to pick myself up, and start all over again in a pattern of growth which will not end until the day of my final dying. And all the time the journey is based on that Gospel paradox of losing life and finding it. An anxious attitude with my personal and spiritual growth is disastrous. The goal of my changing life is not self-fulfilment, even though so much of the personal growth movement popular today seems to suggest that that is so. St Benedict is quite ruthless about the sort of self-fulfilment which is self-seeking. My goal is Christ.
– Esther de Waal, Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict
He must increase; I must decrease. You wish to serve - very well then. What if it is His will that you serve by waiting? By turning silence into a joyful communion of thanks and praise? Perhaps this is all there is, and all there will ever be. Or not. But here, now, in this moment, surrounded by these people - how will I conform myself to Him? Elsewhere, de Waal quotes Metropolitan Bloom, to the effect that if I cannot find Him here and now, I will not find Him anwhere, perhaps not even in the Temple. Am I growing in holiness? Or erecting roadblocks based on the way I think things ought to be?