What does obedience allow us to hear? This may seem to be a funny question. In light of how we often characterize obedience or think about it in our own lives, so often it is about setting aside our own will and having to do what another tells us to do. But in light of the fathers’ writings, it becomes clear that obedience is not a kind of slavishness. The etymology of the word obedience is “to hear.” It allows us to listen and to receive a Word from God that reveals divine truth. Obedience raises us up to comprehend the very love that has saved us.
Of course, one must admit that it is jarring to our sensibilities and our reason. When we hear the stories of the monks’ obedience, we begin to see that it had to do more with their desire for God, their yearning to be conformed to Christ who emptied himself to take upon our humanity and become obedient even unto death. Our obedience leads us to hear that word spoken in our own heart, inviting us to draw close to Christ in every way. This means embracing a wisdom that is wholly unlike what is made manifest within the world and so often shaped by sin. The fathers are living icons of the gospel. What they write and what they do becomes a window revealing the path that we are to walk and that will draw us closer to Christ.
Text of chat during the group:
00:14:43 Anthony: I believe there are different sizes and thicknesses for different strength dogs
00:15:05 Debra: Yes...I think you can get them rated for different breeds
00:15:09 Babington (or Babi): I have one too
00:27:03 Paul Fifer: How would one then differentiate between this zeal and scrupulosity?
00:28:12 Babington (or Babi): Hmmm. Perhaps I’m being ruled by flesh at the moment but I feel resistant to this as the Word of God. If I heard correctly the the teacher led the seeker of God to starve himself potentially very destructively in year two. I don’t see that as God’s love. But again perhaps I’m missing something as I’m distracted by cooking for my dogs.
00:36:09 Babington (or Babi): Oh wait. A second day? I thought he directed him to fast for a whole year, not day.
00:41:00 Babington (or Babi): I get that saturated trusting submission and have tasted it as seeker towards a teacher.
But not a whole year of very unhealthy fasting. As you clarify, extremes aren’t the Way. But I’ll go back and listen to podcast. Perhaps I misunderstood him and you. So sorry if so. Much love and gratitude. 🙏🏼🤍
00:43:10 Babington (or Babi): Fasting is great. I thought you read a year not day. A year seems like starvation.
00:45:59 Anthony: I suggest the stick was a fig branch; It is not entirely unreasonable to have him do this.
00:46:32 Anthony: Figs take about 3 years to fruit and this is one way how you start them (I've done it).
01:09:39 Ashley Kaschl: We don’t often come upon stories, though I know there have been a few, of brothers who were stirred to anger or resentment in the keeping of their obedience. Is there a correlation between being purified of anger, and the lack of an interior movement that might convince someone that the authority figure is lording their commands over the one being called to obedience?
01:11:46 Ashley Kaschl: So our anger can point to us the areas in our life where we need to grow in virtue so that we can be perfectly obedient?
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