Jesus was obedient to the end of death, even death on a cross. Although you and I may never be asked to die for our faith, our Rabbi in heaven does teach us that those who want to follow in union with him must die to self, pick up a cross, and follow him every day.
The vow of obedience is a goad that shepherds a disciple in the ways of perfect love. As Jesus says, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.” Our monastic vow of obedience is really to follow a way of living that is encouraged by others in the Order of Julian. I am ultimately accountable to God through our Warden of Oblates, and the Guardian of our order.
Under my vow of obedience, I have been asked to accept guidance from my superiors in the Order of Julian that conflicted with my own desires. In that simple experience, I realized that obedience sometimes asks me to put the interests of others above self-interest. I also came to understand that superiors in a monastic order, guided by the Holy Spirit, have professed vows to act with discernment in love for the whole community.
You see, holy obedience is really about loving God and loving others. These are the commandments that Jesus asks us to obey if we want to follow him as disciples. Now, may the dust of your Rabbi cover you from head to toe as you follow closely in the footsteps of Jesus.
Calvin Wulf is a writer, spiritual director, and retreat facilitator who lives in Colorado with his wife Lisa. He has a passion for Christian spiritual formation drawing from the ancient spiritual traditions of the Apostles, and Christian sages through the ages. He is also a vowed oblate of the contemplative monastic Order of Julian of Norwich.
TAGS: Christian Discipleship, Spiritual Growth, Christian Spirituality
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