On a Saturday morning one of the General Councilors of the Order was mopping his room. As I passed in the hallway, he remarked that in the olden days the General Definitors (as they were until recently called) would bring along to Rome a brother famulus to assist them with such things.
As I thought upon this as I started to clean my own room--it is a duty explicitly defined by the Statutes of the General Curia and customarily fulfilled on a Saturday--I began to wonder if it wasn't because the Church has largely abandoned the Roman Canon (e.g. Eucharistic Prayer I), and so no longer prays pro famulis, that the brothers were no longer found ready to be famuli.
One gives himself to obedience for the sake of some spiritual benefit, of course. And if the spiritual benefit disappears, what use is the obedience?