Listen Carefully, my son, to your master's precepts,and incline the ear of your heart (Prov. 4:20).Receive willingly and carry out effectivelyyour loving father's advice,that by the labor of obedienceyou may return to Himfrom whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience.
To you, therefore, my words are now addressed,whoever you may be,who are renouncing your own willto do battle under the Lord Christ, the true King,and are taking up the strong, bright weapons of obedience.
And first of all,whatever good work you begin to do,beg of Him with most earnest prayer to perfect it,that He who has now deigned to count us among His childrenmay not at any time be grieved by our evil deeds.For we must always so serve Himwith the good things He has given us,that He will never as an angry Father disinherit His children,nor ever as a dread Lord, provoked by our evil actions,deliver us to everlasting punishmentas wicked servants who would not follow Him to glory.
Prologue, Rule of St. Benedict