St. Symeon on Obeying Your Spiritual Father

St. Symeon the New Theologian ca. 949-1022

Those who with fear and trembling have laid a good foundation of faith and hope in the court of devotion; who have planted their feet firmly on the rock of obedience to their spiritual father; who listen to his counsel as if it came from the mouth of God; and who with humility of soul build all this on the basis of obedience — such people will succeed immediately. They will achieve that great and primary task of denying themselves. For to fulfill the will of another and not one’s own entails not only the denial of one’s own soul, but also mortification towards the whole world.

The demons rejoice when a person argues with his spiritual father, but angels marvel at him when he humbles himself to the point of death. For them he performs God’s work, making himself like the Son of God who was obedient to to His Father unto death, the death on the cross (cf. Phil. 2:8). (Practical and Theological Texts, 44-45)