• Michael Haldas

Obedience (and Stillness)


“So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you extremely sorrowful? And why has your countenance fallen? Did you not sin, even though you brought it rightly, but did not divide it rightly? Be still; his recourse shall be to you; and you shall rule over him” (Genesis 4:6-7 LXX). Because the Lord loved Cain, He sought to bring him to repentance (did you not sin). He commended him for having the right worship (brought it rightly), but reproved him for not having a right heart (did not divide it rightly). He commanded him to still his heart (be still) through repentance, for it was filled with turbulence because of the passions. He also commanded him to be his brother's keeper, as this is what is meant by the words recourse and rule. As the eldest, he was responsible for Abel's welfare. As Cain's parents looked out for his welfare, he too should show the same love to his younger brother.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Genesis 4:7)

“Let us reflect before the Lord on how self-will governs our lives. Whenever we defy the will of God, the consequences inevitably expose the futility of following our own judgment. Saint John Climacus indicates a better path, calling “obedience . . . the tomb of the will and the resurrection of humility.” Whenever we take the risk of setting God’s will above our own, obedience becomes the “abandonment of discernment in a wealth of discernment.” (Dynamis 9/10/2019)

"...obedience is not passiveness, but humble action that emanates from calm of soul, peaceful silence, and inward stillness…If our obedience [to God] is sincere, it bestows upon us the peace from above. If we practice it ungrudgingly (even if we do not like what we have been asked to do), we will find inner stillness and “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” (Phil. 4:7)." (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

“We must learn to bow down before the will of God and not insist on our will. Obedience to the will of God is carried out through obedience to our elders, parents, teachers, supervisors at work...If we have obedience we will understand what is required of us.” (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“Blessed are they who are completely devoted to God, either through obedience to someone experienced in the practice of the virtues and living an ordered life in stillness, or else through themselves living in stillness . . . scrupulously obedient to God’s will, and seeking the advice of experienced men.” (Saint Peter of Damascus)

#OrthodoxStudyBible #Dynamis #ArchimandriteVassiliosPapavassiliou #ElderThaddeusofVitovnica #SaintPeterofDamascus

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