Obedience to an Elder

Obedience to an elder is a great virtue, a great advantage. It is everything. You must pass through obedience to be a complete person, in order to face the difficulties of human life. Without humility and without obedience, you do not have the grace of God. If you do not pass through humility and therefore through obedience you have a very hard time. Lack of obedience is due to egotism and self-love. Egotism and pride engendered the disobedience which ejected us from Paradise. A proud person can never be obedient. He always wants to examine and question what he is told in order to see if it’s right or wrong and to respond accordingly. Or else he does it, but with protestations and objections,believing that in this way he is demonstrating his freedom. But in obedience a person discovers true freedom, whereas slavery is that which compels him not to obey. When he obeys, he enters into the freedom of the children of God.

-Elder Porphyrios, Wounded by Love, p. 163

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