The holy Syncletia said, "I think that for those living in community obedience is a greater virtue than chasity, however perfect. Chastity carries within it the danger of pride, but obedience has within it the promise of humility."
The old men used to say, "If someone has faith in another and hands himself over to him in complete submission, he does not need to pay attention to God's commandments but he can entrust his whole will to his father. He will suffer no reproach from God, for God looks for nothing from beginners so much as renunciation through obedience."
Abba Mios of Belos said, "Obedience responds to obedience. When someone obeys God, then God obeys his request."
They said that abba Sylvanus had a disciple in Scetis, named Mark, who possessed in great measure the virtue of obedience. He was a copyist of old manuscripts, and the old man loved him for his obedience. He had eleven other disciples who were aggrieved that he loved more than them.
When the old men nearby heard that he loved Mark above the others,they took it ill. One day they visited him and abba Sylvanus took them with him and, going out of his cell, began to knock on the door of each of his disciples, saying, "Brother, come out, I have work for you." And not one of them appeared immediately.
Then he came to Mark's cell and knocked, saying, "Mark". And as soon as Mark heard the voice of the old man he came outside and the old man sent him on some errand.
So abba Sylvanus said to the old men, "Where are the other brothers?", and he went into Mark's cell and found the book in which he had been writing and he was making the letter O; and when he heard the old man's voice, he had not finished the line of the O. And the old men said, "Truly, abba, we also love the one whom you love; for God loves him, too."