MEDJUGORJE: THE STICK OF OBEDIENCE
.indeed the idea of the desert in a symbolic spiritual sense conjures up notions of the desert of the soul to make a parallel..we each one of us on our spiritual journey must search the desert of ourselves and find God within..indeed as a result of the Sin of Adam we must wander in the desert cut off from God...since we have been cast from paradise and a state of perfect contemplation of God we must endure the arid places void of expedient grace...we must traverse the wasteland..as it mentions in Isaiah..
Behold I do new things, and now they shall spring forth, verily you shall know them: I will make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert
…now among the Desert fathers there was a distinguished humble and obedient brother called..John The Dwarf…after years of mortifying his will and practicing various spiritual exercises and austerities he took it upon himself to try and excel in the virtue of obedience…on the advice of his spiritual Father Abba Pambo..St. John the Dwarf was advised to take a walking stick and plant it into the ground…indeed John the Dwarf did as he was told since he understood that renunciation of one’s own will in spiritual matters was a great blessing and very pleasing to God..since Jesus himself was obedient unto death on the cross…and so John sought to imitate his master(Jesus)…now John indeed planted this stick in the ground..after planting the stick of obedience in the ground he was told to carefully nurse this dead stick on a daily basis by keeping the ground around the base of the stick free from weeds…in a sense symbolically this can be taken as a doing a regular examination of conscience in the spiritual life… also he was told to fetch water every day and water the stick of obedience..indeed if a person who does not understand the spiritual life would think that this is quite a useless exercise….it is repugnant to the reason…we may draw a parallel here between what is happening at MEDJUGORJE..we see that the edict of two successive Bishops is indeed repugnant to the reason of those who say the SEERS themselves are seeing the Virgin Mary when indeed the Bishop has said there is nothing supernatural concerning visions at MEDJUGORJE..
…indeed to tend and water a dead stick is an insult to common sense and reason..however if we take the stick as symbolic of faith we understand that what is a darkness to natural reason becomes a dark light of faith to the reason which is wedded to faith…so we see that the stick represents faith and we see that tending to the stick represents works..and so we see that obedience to a spiritual father represents obedience to the church…indeed in order to get water in the desert John had to walk many miles..by the time he got back from his journey it would be late in the day and so we see that this walk to get water is a walk of faith…as in our spiritual journey we make a walk of faith..we exercise perseverance and we exercise courage…because John indeed was harassed by wild animals..in order to get water at the watering hole he had to contend with crocodiles and snakes and other wild beasts…in a spiritual sense these beasts represent our own desires and the temptations of the devil….we all must fight our own desire on our quest for virtue…the water we use to tend to our stick of faith are all our good works which are nourished by the sacramental life…
…indeed John the dwarf after tending to his stick of faith and obedience found to his delight that it started to blossom and bear fruit after a period of three years…so we see that our works coupled with self-mortification which is indeed an exercise that can be repugnant to common reason will in the end yield fruit…however when a person through complacency or arrogance ignores the advice of a spiritual father all their acts then become self centred works and these works although seemingly holy are not blessed by God…by turning away from our spiritual fathers our works become an offense to God,,,since we are united to heaven through the magisterium of the church…
…the lessons one receives from such a story are manifold…indeed one is humbled by following advice which is repugnant to the reason yet not sinful in nature…by mortifying the reason one thinks of others more than oneself and by doing so emulates God … since God descends to our level to raise us up to his…indeed God by giving us reign over his creation has put himself at our service…since nothing we have comes from ourselves…all that we have comes from God and by making us master of his world he places himself at our service…all we can give God is our obedience we cannot glorify him any more since he is imperfectible…we can only glorify ourselves through him by offering ourselves through obedience and so by our gift of obedience we become free and eternal in heaven…we become a praise of his glory just as St. Paul wrote…
That we may be unto the praise of his glory, we who before hoped Christ:
…so when we are obedient to another we become closer to God since in spirit we seek to bring each other to the same level and consequently we bring heaven to earth and unite ourselves through a motion of spiritual consanguinity , reconciliation and peace…this is true humility…John following the advice of his spiritual father was courageous and displayed fortitude and mortification of his pride…by his concession to another he appeared as a laughingstock before his other brethren who indeed saw this as a futile exercise…indeed a fool for Christ…so by undertaking this task of watering the stick of obedience…John received the great reward..and in the end he was able to share the fruit of his obedience which spiritually are all the virtues he garnered from his faith and his obedience….
“It seems to me that for those who live in monasteries obedience is a higher virtue than chastity, however, perfect. Chastity is in danger of pride, obedience has the promise of humility.”
..indeed among the desert fathers it is said that God loves nothing more than those little children of his who obey his superiors or even the least among his community...holy obedience engenders all the virtues while blind obedience in this case to SEERS which is contrary to holy obedience obviates the magisterium and subverts the economy of salvation and the church to which the adherents to MEDJUGORJE perfidiously cleave whether astuciosly(by cunning) or through complacency...in effect what we have in MEDJUGORJE is an insipient form of Cafeteria Catholicism insidiously disseminating into the bulwark of the faith..the smoke of satan ....through which many grievous errors may flow into the church in an attempt to sully it from within....