The Categories of Obedience as Hierarchy
When God finds a soul determined to obey, then He takes his life in His hands, as one takes the rudder of a boat, or as one takes the reins of a cart. He becomes in deed, and not only in theory, Lord, Who rules, Who governs, it can be said, moment by moment the person’s gestures and words, his way of using time, and everything.
In light of this ever growing degree of obedience, God’s orders multiply. If the spiritual father gives his disciples more commands for their benefit as they grow in obedience, how much more will our Heavenly Father give us? Below are categories of obedience required of a person throughout their spiritual life, especially in a community.
Poverty is love before it is renunciation.
The vow of poverty is much related to that of celibacy. In the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, we notice a direct relationship between poverty and virginity as the two cornerstones in the monastic life.
We elect to be poor. Similar to our Lord’s words regarding the eunuch (cf. Mt. 19:12), it is not that poverty is forced upon us like those who are poor by birth. We also have not become poor due to the efforts of others. We are not victims of economic decline. Rather, we have made ourselves poor for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
OUR MODEL: THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
Motivated by Love. When the Lord Jesus Christ saw the multitude coming to Him or when He saw the Widow of Nain, the Bible says that He was “moved with compassion” (cf. Matt.9:36, 14:14; Mk. 6:34; Lk. 7:13).
This indicates that the motivation for service is love. Therefore, what motivates us to serve people is to love them. Without this love, we will not be able to serve them. And love always means sacrifice. The Lord sacrificed Himself. Therefore, every servant should be motivated by sacrificial love.