The obedient life develops our abilities to hear and sense God's presence and activities. The word obedience includes the word audire, which means "listening." The obedient life is one in which we listen with great attention to God's Spirit within and among us. The great news of God's revelation is not simply that God exists, but also that God is actively present. Our God is a God who cares, heals, guides, directs, challenges, confronts, corrects, and forms us. God is a God who wants to lead us closer to the full realization of our lionhearted humanity, if you will. To be obedient means to be constantly attentive to this active presence and to allow God, who is only love, to be the source as well as the goal of all we think, say, and do.

Henri J. M. Nouwen, Spiritual Direction by Henri J. M. Nouwen, Michael J. Christensen, editor, Rebecca Laird, editor