Fr. Alexander Schmemann on Obedience

Fr. Alexander Schmemann

Obedience, taken in itself, is not a “virtue”; it is blind submission and there is no light in blindness. Only love for God, the absolute object of all love, frees obedience from blindness and makes it the joyful acceptance of that alone which is worthy of being accepted. But love without obedience to God is “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16), it is the love claimed by Don Juan, which ultimately destroys him. Only obedience to God, the only Lord of Creation, gives love its true direction, makes it fully love.

True obedience is thus true love for God, the true response of Creation to its Creator. Humanity is fully humanity when it is this response to God, when it becomes the movement of total self-giving and obedience to Him.

* This excerpt is from “For the Life of the World” by Fr. Alexander Schmemann


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  1. Pingback: On Obedience- By: Fr. Alexander Schmemann « Milk & Honey