Adrienne von Speyr - Das Buch vom Gehorsam

Das Buch vom Gehorsam The Book of Obedience

One of the last works dictated by Adrienne von Speyr, the present treatise offers a survey of her approach to Christianity as a whole. Nevertheless, the topic of obedience remains central for the book. In particular, Adrienne shows the inseparable connection between Christian love and Christian obedience. As Hans Urs von Balthasar writes in his foreword to the work, she teaches that “it is only when [obedience] is described as coming from love, leading to love, and intending and containing love in each of its acts that it can be explained as the Christian reality it is.”

Foreword by Hans Urs von Balthasar

1. What is Obedience
Obedience in the World und Faith
The One Word: Love
The Church

2. The Meaning of Obedience
Degrees of Obedience
Education for the Center
Implications for Activity
Enlargement Through Obedience

3. Christ’s Obedience
Incarnation as Obedience
Life in Obedience
Miracles and Cross as Obedience
Obedient Unto Death
Resurrection and Ascension as Obedience

4. Obedience in Heaven
Obedience as Participation in God
Obedience Without Limits

5. Unvarnished Obedience
The Absolute Point
The Effects

6. Christian Obedience
Insertion into Christ
Negativity and Anguish
Hell and Resurrection

7. Obedience in the World
Apostolate in the World
The Relation Between the States

8. Obedience in the Life of the Counsels
Obedience in the Novitiate
The Rule and the Holy Spirit
Conformity to the Rule

9. Dangers for Obedience. Its Limits
Refusal of Responsibility
Externalism. Danger to the Order
The Finitude of Obedience

10. Obedience Between Heaven and Earth. The Saints
Institutionalized Obedience
Three Saints

11. Obedience as Love
Participation in Triune Acquiescence
Obedience in Filial Acquiescence
The Sacraments
The Church Year

Every act of obedience is like a skin. Once the skin is peeled away and used, another one is exposed beneath it until the whole fruit is consumed. Which means: until God truly occupies all the space in the believer. This takes struggle. Obedience demands renunciation, clarification, purity. And the more one obeys, the more one realizes one’s lack of sufficient transparency; one still holds back a lot one would have to give up. One can also become disgruntled, but a reluctant obedience is no obedience at all: God wants his people to be joyful. All of the Lord’s painful renunciations are for the sake of redemption, and thus of the joy that explodes on Easter. And even those called into very close proximity to his Cross are never given sufferings like his. He lets them taste something of them, but he does so as a grace, and his final goal is always joy. This joy lies hidden in Christian obedience.

From “Education for the Center”