The first step is always the hardest.…
It was 1500 years ago that St. Benedict set up rules for the fellow monks of his monastery, with the goal to organize their everyday life. He was well aware that the first step is always the hardest, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
St. Benedict likens the monastic journey through life to a school. And he knows the difficulties and problems of beginnings. His encouragement therefore is this:
“And so we are going to establish a school for the service of the Lord.
In founding it we hope to introduce nothing harsh or burdensome.
But if a certain strictness results from the dictates of equity
for the amendment of vices or the preservation of charity,
do not be at once dismayed and fly from the way of salvation,
whose entrance cannot but be narrow. For as we advance in the religious life and in faith, our hearts expand and we run the way of God's commandments with unspeakable sweetness of love.”
(RB, Prologue, translation taken from osb.org)