Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Power of Humble Love

I read a great article this morning on the leadership approach of spiritual fathers and mothers in the Eastern Christian tradition by Bishop Kallistos Ware. It is a great treatment on the central values of humility and love in this approach to Christian Leadership. We need more research and thinking about the value of humility in leadership. Ware writes:

In the Eastern Orthodox tradition at its best, the spiritual father has always sought to avoid any kind of constraint and spiritual violence in his relations with his disciple. If, under the guidance of the Spirit, he speaks and acts with authority, it is with the authority of humble love. The words of Abba Zosima in The Brothers Karamazov express an essential aspect of spiritual fatherhood: "At some ideas you stand perplexed, especially at the sight of men's sin, uncertain whether to combat it by force or by humble love. Always decide, 'I will combat it by humble love.' If you make up your mind about that once and for all, you can conquer the whole world. Loving humility is a terrible force; it is the strongest of all things and there is nothing like it."
Here is a link to Bishop Kallistos' article: