We continued our reading of Step 4 from the Ladder of Divine Ascent on Obedience and the spirit with which it is practiced. What one begins to see in the writings of the Fathers is that obedience is not slavishness that destroys the personality or the will of the other. It arises out of a relationship; first and foremost the relationship between the Father and the Son that brought about our salvation; wherein Christ through the Spirit of love became obedient even unto death on the cross. Obedience within this world and obedience to one’s spiritual father is rooted in a similar relationship of mutual love. Spiritual father and son must be well disposed to each other in order that what is given and what is received is done so in love. Only then will bear fruit and only then will it bring a kind of invincible joy. To live in obedience is to find freedom; freedom from fear and anxiety, freedom from the darkness that sin brings to us. Through obedience we always have someone to guide us back to the narrow way, one who shows us the light that allows us to move forward. Let us pray through Saint John Climacus that God would cultivate this great virtue within our hearts.
Text of chat during the group:
00:07:47 FrDavid Abernethy: page 83, para 45
00:28:54 Daniel Allen: The blog “Glory to God for all things” had a great article on this titled “saving knowledge and blessed ignorance”. What we don’t know can be more important than what we know, and what we know is much less than we like to think.
00:31:02 Anthony: On one hand, I think he's right. On the other hand, does one have a responsibility to try and share specialized knowledge for guidance to a perceived good or guidance away from a bad thing - but with discretion in how you propose the idea?
00:41:54 Rachel: That is extremely rare but so very beautiful.
00:47:26 Bridget McGinley: How does one reconcile in practice the advice in the Psalms and other Biblical verses like “ It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man” with the virtue of obedience and trust in a confessor/elder? Especially if there have been grave misunderstandings in the past.
00:56:52 Daniel Allen: St. Ambrose to St. Monica: ““God’s time will come,” the bishop reassured her, but she was so persistent he finally urged, “Go now, I beg you. It is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish.””
00:57:49 Debra: ❤️
01:04:25 Rachel: lol
01:08:31 Ambrose Little: depends on who the sub is
01:08:41 Debra: 😁
01:11:38 Ren Witter: This is so true! Even in my dreams, I find myself asking: what would my spiritual father think of this or that behavior? It becomes such a deeply established way of thinking. Its really beautiful, and a blessing. Another reason that the habit of exposing one's thoughts to a Father is so good - knowing that you will tell him everything, you become more careful with what you allow yourself to do. Such wise advice
01:13:23 Debra: So my biggest take away is of spiritual maturity...but does that maturity come *from* obedience; or does the obedience need to come first to gain that spiritual maturity
Like the monk that was willing to accept years of penance...that would take spiritual maturity...but if he had that, he wouldn't have needed the penance...or am I missing something?
01:13:58 Debra: Yes, exactly
01:14:00 Debra: lol
01:14:42 Ambrose Little: Wise words from Bob: "baby steps"
01:16:18 Debra: Thank you that's a deeper take away
01:18:25 Babington (or Babi): Hope to contribute someday. Thank you very much. God bless you all. 🙏🏼🤍
01:20:29 Bonnie Lewis: Thank you so much for all that you do Ren!
01:21:07 Ambrose Little: the "non-recluse” lol that's awesome
01:21:19 Ren Witter: Yes!! I just saw that. Hahah. Amazing
01:21:38 Br Theophan the non-recluse: It’s been the most consistent joke since my investiture last weekend🤣
01:22:09 Carol Nypaver: Hooray!
01:22:31 Sheila Applegate: Congratulations!
01:22:46 Rachel: Bro Theophan is in Cali? Yay =)
01:23:21 Br Theophan the non-recluse: 2.5 hours north of San Fran!
01:23:23 CMoran: Thank you Father!
01:23:27 Rachel: Thank you!
01:23:30 Debra: Thank you!
01:23:31 Rachel: Sacramento here
01:23:33 Ashley Kaschl: Thank you, Father!
01:23:39 Bonnie Lewis: Bye all!
01:23:41 Rachel: Goodnoght Father!
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