Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Obedience is not a virtue many of us have. This is not a modern phenomenon; it has existed as long as humans have existed. Adam and Eve were not obedient to God. If they were then we would have all been in Paradise. Nevertheless, it is one of the virtues we should strive to master, in order to reach our goal in life, theosis, salvation. Following is a beautiful story from the desert Fathers, from Abba John Dwarf, who explains what obedience truly is:

It was said of Abba John the Dwarf that he withdrew and lived in the desert at Scetis with an old man of Thebes. His Abba, taking a piece of dry wood, planted it and said to him, ‘Water it every day with a bottle of water until it bears fruit.’ Now the water was so far away that he had to leave in the evening and return the following morning. At the end of three years the wood came to life and bore fruit. Then the old man took some of the fruit and carried it to the church saying to the brethren, ‘Take and eat the fruit of obedience.’[1]

[1] ‘From the Desert Fathers on Obedience’, Cornerstone, Number 69, Autumn 2009, p. 7

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