Such a beautiful image is presented to us of the life obedience in a few paragraphs. St. John finds himself wrapped in conversation with one of the elderly fathers. He is asked if he has embraced the life that God has made possible for him. The Holy Spirit has descended upon him with the dew of purity, not unlike that of the blessed Virgin Mary, and the Most High has overshadowed him with patience, the very patience of Christ.
This is the grace that has been given to us all. Thus St. John is asked by the elder if his life is reflective of that reality. Has he bound himself with a towel of obedience, making himself the slave and the servant of the members of his community, willing to embrace every self- abasement? Does he guard his heart strictly and restrain the mind through the ascetical life and by humbling the body? In the midst of all of his work does he maintain stillness of heart? Does he curb his tongue that rages to leap into arguments and unceasingly wrestle with this tyrant? Does he fix his mind to the image of obedience and humility on the Cross, allowing it to shape how he embraces mockery, abuse, and ridicule? Has he cast off his will as though it is a garment of shame? Does he still his mind or let it become overly busy with the concerns of the things of the world? Is he willing to drink derision at every hour in order to protect charity? Is it more valuable for him to preserve love and unity with his brothers than it is to be treated with respect and kindness? Saint John is moved by the old monks exhortation and so gives true honor to blessed obedience.
Do we in our day-to-day life experience the fruit of true obedience, especially when it comes to our worship of God? Are we able to collect all of our thoughts and desires, every movement of the mind and the soul and summon them to cry out to God “O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ, our king and our God.”True obedience leads to true freedom. It gives us the capacity to love and give ourselves in love without impediment.
Text of chat during the group:
00:12:01 FrDavid Abernethy: page 79: “Again about the steward”
00:14:16 Bonnie Lewis: Hi Father! It’s still in the 100’s in San Antonio
00:18:48 Mark Cummings: Is that a kalimavkion?
00:26:16 Rachel: LOL!!
00:37:36 Anthony: So does "I think therefore I am" actually open us up to a world of hurt, drowning in speculation and fanciful thoughts, making us prey to demons if we take it as a life or cultural motto?
00:48:06 Rachel: Can you speak about applying this teaching where one's work environment, and the people one works with do not share the same goal or, at least do not act like it? I am thinking of a situation like Blessed Paul Parazzo.
00:48:25 Bridget McGinley: Oh that is a hard saying "curb your tongue" when you work predominately with females. True sacrifice to hold the tongue and not let one's face show emotion.
01:07:22 Bridget McGinley: I am reading the Rule of the Benedictine Oblate. So many of these rules are discussed and explained in there also. It is so beautiful how caring all the disciplines were. There is such a profound love behind them when one knows the theology behind it.
01:15:19 Anthony: His words are literally part of the Trisagion prayer prior to Liturgy. I wonder if the call to bow before Christ our King and God was incorporated because of the importance of this book in spirituality.
01:17:41 Sr Barbara Jean Mihalchick: Most folks pray like Puritans - no movement ever~!
01:18:34 Rachel: Thank you Father
01:18:40 CMoran: Thank you so much, Father!
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