Tonight we continued with Hypothesis 19 on the importance and value of obedience. I think it is safe to say that this is some of the most beautiful writing on the subject - one can only imagine because it arises out of deep experience.
Obedience is presented to us not as a kind of slavishness or something that leads to the crushing of the personality. Nor is it something that is infantilizing. What we find in the Fathers is just the opposite. Obedience is the prime good that we are to acquire because it casts out pride and it creates humility within the heart. Christ loved obedience because he loved the Father. It is in his incarnation that he was, by providence, obedient to his heavenly Father unto the cross and death. He obeyed the Father in love even though he was in no way inferior in greatness and dignity.
Obedience and love are intimately tied together. Divine love is vulnerable. And nowhere is this seen more fully than in Christ giving himself over to the Father’s will without question.
Such obedience also brings us healing and freedom from the danger of falling into delusion. Protected from pride, we never see ourselves and our lives as abstracted from God and his will for us.
Text of chat during the group:
00:07:33 David Fraley: I always have snacks!
00:10:42 Anthony: "City a Desert" on YouTube is how I found him.
00:13:54 Debra: I didn't get any email today, regarding the commenting
00:24:02 Mark: Sorry… incredibly distracted on my end… what page are we on?
00:24:14 Anthony: 146
00:24:34 Mark: Thanks
00:32:21 Anthony: So this is what fundamentally makes our anthropology different than the Cathars. They make ascetism a mere act of will. We realize we have disjointed psychology that must be put aright. And that is by grace and synergy of the will with grace we reorganize the soul/mind/body. And this synergy is individual and communal.
00:37:56 Mitchell Hunt: I saw that. Very profound. Quote was from Elder Aimilianos
00:42:02 Ren: Didn’t one of the Fathers we read even talk about revealing ones thoughts to ones angel? It might have been in the context of the hermits, and I think they were able to see their angel, but I think it is still a lovely thought that could apply.
00:54:42 Anthony: I think that is a sentiment shared by Seneca the Stoic.
01:06:21 Ren: This paragraph really serves as the proof of the hypothesis: Obedience is most valuable because it defeats pride, and gives birth to humility and love of God - all without the danger of delusion. Amazing. Also helps to explain why the chapter on obedience is the longest chapter in the Ladder. Strange that the only time we really talk about obedience in the life of the church is little kids doing what mom and dad say.
01:11:16 Anthony: My discipline is political philosophy. Since the Reformation, and especially the American Revolution, we have a worldview of opposition and "I have the truth, I will separate from you." This is immature and selfish and even Marxist, looking at life through a framework of parties being in perpetual opposition. But classical political philosophy has a worldview based on love, friendship, patronage, "the ties that bind." That is the Classical worldview upon which our Catholic ethics are based.
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