Desert Wisdom: The Monk’s Service

Hyperichius said, “The monk’s service is obedience.  He who has this shall have his prayers answered, and shall stand by the Crucified in confident faith.  For that was how the Lord went to his cross, being made obedient even unto death (cf. Phil. 2:8).  (Saying 14:13)

The emphasis upon obedience in early Christianity was aligned with the belief that humility is the premier mark of perfect love—that is, love as expressed in the two great commandments.

Moreover, obedience is a life of attentiveness—primarily to God, but also to one’s peers in community.  It is attentiveness with the intention to enact what is heard, so that the holy words of counsel (from Scripture, tradition, or community) become words that are actually taken to heart and expressed in daily actions.

If we “ask, seek, and knock” with the purpose of enacting what we discover, we join with the saints of the ages in discovering what the spirit and substance of obedience really is.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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