Community on retreat 22-30 July. Services open; shop closed.

The first degree of humility is obedience without delay

The first degree of humility is obedience without delay. This becometh those who hold nothing dearer to them than Christ; who, because of the holy service which they have professed, the fear of hell, and the glory of life everlasting, as soon as anything has been ordered by the superior, receive it as a divine command and cannot suffer any delay in executing it. Of these doth the Lord say: At the hearing of the ear he hath obeyed me.1 And again he saith to teachers:

He that heareth you heareth me.2

Such as these, therefore, immediately abandon their own affairs and forsaking their own will, dropping the work they were engaged on and leaving it unfinished, with swift obedience follow up with their deeds the voice of him who commands them. And almost in the same moment of time that the master’s order is issued is the disciples work completed, in the swiftness of the fear of the Lord; the two things being rapidly accomplished together by those who are impelled by the desire of attaining life everlasting. Therefore they choose the narrow way, according to the Lord’s words: Narrow is the way which leadeth unto life;3 so that not living by their own will, in the service of their own desires and pleasures, but walking by another’s judgement and orders, they dwell in monasteries, and desire to have an abbot over them. Assuredly such as these imitate that saying of the Lord wherein he saith: I came not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.4

1Ps xvii, 45
2Luke x, 16
3Matt vii, 14
4John vi, 38