As we know, Saint Benedict disapproves rather strongly of what he terms “murmuring” in the monastery. Similarly, the grumbling of the Israelites in the desert, is not favorably received by the Lord. Grumbling or murmuring against God ceases for one of three reasons: The first and most obvious is when God is believed to have addressed and resolved the precipitating issue. The second is when persistent grumbling meets with no response and one simply gives up in despair. The third is when—despite no apparent response—grumbling finally yields to surrender and trust in the wisdom and goodness of God. In times of great spiritual trial, despairing and surrendering may feel very similar; but what distinguishes hope from despair is the act of continuing to seek God even in the midst of darkness and God’s apparent “deafness.” It might thus be worth taking a moment to review your own history of interior grumbling, and in its absence, the reason may tell you something about your present spiritual state!