Abbot Philip: Is There Value in Obedience?

monk-newmexico-240348-oAbbot Philip serves at Christ in the Desert monastery in New Mexico. I’m often encouraged and enriched by his reflections. I’m sometimes deeply challenged by his male perspective and his sense of traditionalism. His reflections below on the nature of obedience — which bring so many issues for me as a woman — are nevertheless insightful and ultimately freeing for me.

“Sometimes people who are not monks find it difficult to understand any value to obedience. When I was a young monk, I had all kinds of questions about obedience and was not sure that I could ever obey wholeheartedly. Yes I always obeyed. When I came up for solemn vows, my abbot told me that the other solemnly professed (the Chapter) was not convinced that I would ever obey anyone. So we talked about obedience. At the end of the talk, the abbot assured me that I did always obey. He also told me, however, that I seemed to have to question things before I obeyed. Continue reading “Abbot Philip: Is There Value in Obedience?”