Chatting about: Obedience

Living Jesus Chat

Dec 1 2016, 8:26 AM

VisitationSiste: With all the political events of the last year and a half, how can these words of Saint Francis help us embrace our political climate? “Therefore do you obey their commands as of right, but if you would be perfect, follow their counsels, and even their wishes as far as charity and prudence will allow.” What are your thoughts on obedience? Why does it at first appear to be the opposite of what we think God asks of us? If obedience is good, where do you draw the line? What if one of our equals perce

 

 

Dec 1 2016, 8:27 AM

VisitationSiste: If obedience is good, where do you draw the line? What if one of our equals perceives what they think is a weakness on our part and tries to take advantage of us by asking us to do all kinds of difficult things?

How can we look at obedience as a positive thing instead of thinking of it as some kind of oppresive idea?

 

 

Dec 1 2016, 8:27 AM

VisitationSiste: Sun Dec 4 730p est

 

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Dec 4 2016, 7:20 PM

Lisa C: Hi Carol Ann

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:21 PM

Carol Ann: Hi Lisa, how are you?

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:21 PM

Lisa C: Fine, thank you, how are you?

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:23 PM

Carol Ann: very happy open enrollment is almost over! six days a week is a b it much for me to work so many hours a day, and because it’s the end, I’ve had to work today too

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:23 PM

Lisa C: Hi Dawn

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:23 PM

Dawn (guest): Hi Lisa and Carol, Happy Advent 2

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:25 PM

Lisa C: Yes, Happy week 2

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:25 PM

Guest6167 (guest): Hi Everyone, it’s Judy! Hope you all had a great week. I had the great joy of spending yesterday with the Sisters of Life in Suffern, I spent the day stuffing envelopes. We broke around 12;30 for daytime prayer, then lunch, and then worked through the afternoon. At 4:30 we sent to chapel for exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by the Rosary, then meditation and ending with Evening Prayer. What a blessed day.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:25 PM

Lisa C: Hi Judy

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:25 PM

Dawn (guest): Hi Judy

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:26 PM

Carol Ann: Hi Dawn & Judy

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:27 PM

Carol Ann: It sound wonderful. Judy!

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:29 PM

Guest6167 (guest): (Judy) I can’t tell you the great love and respect I have for these Sisters and the work they do in defense of human life. That is their whole mission. They radiate joy and love virtually from every pore. I feel so much more alive after spending a day with them.

 

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:30 PM

Guest6167 (guest): (Judy) Another batch of really tough questions!

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:30 PM

Dawn (guest): that is wonderful. I am not familiar with their order but will look them up

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:31 PM

Dawn (guest): usually….its those most needed to understand

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:31 PM

Dawn (guest): yes, I thought questions tonight a challenge also

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:32 PM

Guest6167 (guest): (Judy) They were founded 25 years ago by Cardinal O’Connor and eight women who responded to an ad he placed the paper: Wanted: Sisters of Life. The Superior is Mother Agnes Mary Donovan. She is also the Chair of the Council of Major Superiors of Women.

 

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:36 PM

Carol Ann: this political climate is the most polarized I have ever seen. hard to know where to turn

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:37 PM

Guest6167 (guest): (Judy) Hi 5026! Is that you Brian?

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:38 PM

Guest5026 (guest): Hi Lisa , Carol Ann , Judy , and Dawn ! God Bless You! Brian

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:39 PM

Guest6167 (guest): (Judy) Glad you are with us, Brian.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:39 PM

Carol Ann: Hi Brian!

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:39 PM

Dawn (guest): Hi Brian

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:39 PM

Dawn (guest): happy to hear of triplets, everyone doing good?

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:40 PM

Lisa C: Obedience to God is something I think is built into the consciences of people who have faith. If we love Him

 

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:41 PM

Guest5026 (guest): We sang Lessof Me at Kairos meeting yesterday beautiful song we will be singing in prison this weekend Dec 8-12 ask all your friends to keep Kairos 59 men in your prayers could be very large group !

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:42 PM

Guest6167 (guest): (Judy) You bet!

 

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:42 PM

Carol Ann: Of course Brian!

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:44 PM

Guest6167 (guest): OK, fess up. Who had the triplets?

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:46 PM

Guest5026 (guest): A new friend Harry from India has 3 year old triplet boys . He is Hindu but has been asking me many questions about the Lord and sharing . He keeps a St Mother Theresa prayer card next to him at work always please pray for his conversion .

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:47 PM

Dawn (guest): I misunderstood, thought they were new triplets

 

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:48 PM

Dawn (guest): but what a joy, three 3 yr olds!

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:50 PM

Guest5026 (guest): Harry would like to support children in India , it seems like God is calling him to start or support organization to save the lives of children there !

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:50 PM

Guest6167 (guest): (Judy) What are your thoughts on obedience? Obedience is a necessary part of life. If everyone does just as he or she desires and ignores the rules or lase needed for public safety, we would be living in total chaos. Imagine, for example, trying to drive through an intersection if no one is obeying the traffic signals. I in no way feel that obedience is the opposite of what God asks of us.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:50 PM

Lisa C: Thinking about obedience….on the surface it seems like giving up freedom, but if we think of obedience as conforming our will to God’s will then it is more like freedom from sin and outside influences which prevent true freedom.

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:51 PM

Lisa C: With obedience to God’s will we are free to live the way we were meant to live.

 

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:52 PM

Guest6167 (guest): His first command after telling Adam and Eve to increase and multiply, was not to eat the fruit of the tree in the center of the garden. And look what happened when they disobeyed! And so obedience is something God expects of us.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:52 PM

Guest5026 (guest): I cannot imagine what I would have

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:52 PM

Carol Ann: all true obedience examples. But many people seem to think it means blind obedience, that we must not question. but we must always pray and discern what people ask of us, ithr in personal relationships or public life, to know what God wills for each of us

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:53 PM

Guest5026 (guest): Missed in life had I not been obedient to Gods call in many situations in the last ten years

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:54 PM

Dawn (guest): a today example…there is separation of church and state. I have several times been in a group where this law was discussed and to be obedient to it. possible to do, in this situation esp if on their territory, but I do not obey in my heart and pray in that moments for a change of hearts

 

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:54 PM

Guest6167 (guest): I think that if we are not obedient to God, we cannot be at peace.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:55 PM

Lisa C: God knows what we need and obedience is trusting (having faith) that He does. He can see the real truth of any situation, and we cannot, and His law gives us a guide of how to live. The problem is that we cannot always fulfill the law on our own, due to weakness and so we have Jesus to do it for us when we cannot, and we have to depend on His mercy and forgiveness when we fail.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:56 PM

Guest5026 (guest): Before being reunited to God I was floating from one addiction to another . With God these many recent years He has been guiding me and I am learning to be obedient to Him !

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:57 PM

Carol Ann: I feel as though we are talking about more than one type of obedience. To God, to those in the Church over us, to our families, to civic authorities, each with its own needs and discernment

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:57 PM

Guest6167 (guest): Absolutely right Carol Ann!

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:58 PM

Guest6167 (guest): And St. FdeS says that in paragraph 2 of the materials we received.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:58 PM

Dawn (guest): right, those are all different.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:58 PM

Guest940 (guest): Obedient = God, I love you.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:59 PM

Dawn (guest): hi guest…is this Ruth

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 7:59 PM

Carol Ann: The only one we must obey 100% without question is God, but that can be tricky, discerning what he is actually saying to us, because we are flawed, and our hearing is flawed

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:00 PM

Lisa C: We may be flawed, but our church makes it very clear in our Catechism

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:00 PM

Guest6167 (guest): But we have the Commandments of God and of the Church, and the Word of God in Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church to guide us.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:00 PM

Carol Ann: in cases where there is a moral absolute, ues

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:01 PM

Lisa C: I think when we do not understand we have priests whom we can ask

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:01 PM

Guest5026 (guest): It is critical for us to stay close to God and to a community of believers in order to live obedient to Gods will !

 

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:02 PM

Guest6167 (guest): Righteyo Lisa!

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:02 PM

Guest6167 (guest): Right on Brian, also!

 

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:04 PM

Guest5026 (guest): It is soo important to ask questions or listen to the Priests,Deacons , Brothers , and Sisters God has brought into our lives!

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:05 PM

Dawn (guest): and the saints, many of who lived in political times of turmoil, have much to teach us. Edith Stein, Pope JPII….and more. if we are talking about question 1

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:05 PM

Guest5026 (guest): Amen Dawn !

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:05 PM

Lisa C: Reading the autobiography of St. Margaret Mary is interesting, because she was told by Jesus to obey her superior even when it prevented her from immediately carrying out His will for her. Of course, eventually it would be carried out, but still that must have been hard.

 

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:07 PM

Guest940 (guest): Things happen in God’s time.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:07 PM

Carol Ann: Yes, proest can help us with many questions, but again we are talking about many types of obedience with out necessarily saying which one we are talking about. In the civic realm, it is entirely possible for both conservatives and liberals to be acting in good will and discerning what God is saying to them. He made us liberal and conservative both, because both speak a part of the truth, and the path lies in the middle (not centrist, but a collaboration and a cooperation of all)

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:07 PM

Guest5026 (guest): Jesus is always teaching us humility through obedience

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:10 PM

Guest940 (guest): Trust in the Lord, he knows what is good for us. Let God be God. We just obey follow.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:10 PM

Guest6167 (guest): And we are never obliged to do something evil or something that would put us in danger.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:10 PM

Carol Ann: right!

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:11 PM

Guest5026 (guest): Soo true Carol Ann . Our enemy wants to keep us all divided but God wants us to have a relationship and conversation and listening with all ! He wants us to be one !

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:11 PM

Dawn (guest): seeing Jesus obedience, where he peacefully went to the cross, he was obedient to the soldiers but he was really being obedient to the Father

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:11 PM

Guest6167 (guest): Unless we are in the military or in law enforcement.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:12 PM

Lisa C: Jesus put Himself in danger out of love and I think that we might be asked to do things that are dangerous out of love.

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:12 PM

Dawn (guest): I agree Lisa, and there are many Christians today who are doing so

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:13 PM

Guest6167 (guest): Yes, that’s true!

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:13 PM

Lisa C: Taking care of someone with cholera might be an example

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:13 PM

Lisa C: Helping lepers

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:14 PM

Guest6167 (guest): Protecting a child from being hit by a car.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:15 PM

Lisa C: Hiding or helping people who are being slaughtered by Nazis

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:15 PM

Guest6167 (guest): That’s where we need that old watchword, discernment.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:15 PM

Carol Ann: There is a great degree of self sacrifice in discipleship, whether it is the physical danger many seem to be called to, or the simple scary thing of opening ourselves to new ideas that are also of the Spirit

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:15 PM

Guest940 (guest): “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

God will strengthen us in any situation we face.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:17 PM

Guest5026 (guest): St Stephen is such a great example of how through obediant life with God he knew just the right time God wanted him to speak the Truth the whole Truth knowing he would lose his life ! He was willing to be obediant to save others ! Just like Jesus !

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:19 PM

Dawn (guest): I also believe out of his love and desire to be one with us, he pours his grace and mercy even on those we would think do not know him, in a way they will come to know him

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:19 PM

Guest6167 (guest): And now, the last question, how can we look at obedience as a positive thing. The last six commandments are articulated in negative terms. But observing them results in positive actions, E.G. thou shalt not steal- positive is respecting the property rights of others. Thou shalt not kill-the positive is having regard for the sanctity of human life (except in the case of just war of self-defense). To comply with such commands is living in accord with God’s will which is definitely positive.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:20 PM

Carol Ann: these are the moral ab solutes

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:21 PM

Guest940 (guest): May God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven, through the willingness of our heart to be obedient to him, and may he strengthen us and grant us his help always.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:22 PM

Dawn (guest): Amen

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:22 PM

Lisa C: Hacksaw Ridge is a movie about a medic in WWII who would not carry a gun, because he would not kill anyone. He volunteered to go to war to save lives, and his commanders thought he was a useless coward and tried to make him leave the Army. Once they were in battle and he risked his life over and over to save people they realized that they were wrong.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:22 PM

Guest5026 (guest): When the enemy comes in like a flood the Spirit of the Lord shall raise up a standard against him !!!

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:23 PM

Dawn (guest): Has anyone here seen movie?

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:23 PM

Carol Ann: no

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:23 PM

Lisa C: Yes

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:23 PM

Guest6167 (guest): I wonder why God chose to express them in negative terms. Perhaps He felt that people would be more likely to obey if they were put that way.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:23 PM

Amy Cochran: no

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:23 PM

Dawn (guest): hi Amy!

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:24 PM

Amy Cochran: better late than never

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:24 PM

Lisa C: I do not know how you can say not to do something wrong in a positive way.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:24 PM

Lisa C: How would you say the words?

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:24 PM

Carol Ann: Hi Amy

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:24 PM

Amy Cochran: hi

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:25 PM

Guest5026 (guest): Our Kairos leader Dave Stewart told me it is awesome movie ! Please pray for Dave and his wife Carol and his son Luke !

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:25 PM

Guest6167 (guest): You do it by expressing its opposite. Thou shalt not kill. Rathe, thou shalt respect the life of every human being.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:26 PM

Carol Ann: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMZ8D6nTKhg

Spiritual Warfare – The Battle Belongs to The Lord – YouTube

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:26 PM

Dawn (guest): I hope to see it soon. sounds like a very good example of what we are talking about here tonight

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:26 PM

Amy Cochran: or love the sinner, hate the sin

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:26 PM

Guest6167 (guest): Indeed, thou shalt protect the life of every human being.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:27 PM

Lisa C: Saying it that way leaves it sort of subjective, some people think that respect for live means giving someone a “dignified death”. Of course that is wrong. Saying you shalt not kill is very specific.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:27 PM

Dawn (guest): thanks for the link Carol

 

 

Guest6167 (guest): That’s why I adjusted to say thou shalt protect the life of every human being.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:28 PM

Carol Ann: When someone tells me that death with dignity is a good thing, I just tel them life is invaluable, and all life has value.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:29 PM

Lisa C: Think about the suffering before death, it may mitigate time in purgatory.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:29 PM

Guest5026 (guest): Our true obediance to God’s Word in our actions also shows us if we are really connected to God or if we are drifting away . That’s why Jesus asks us to fix our own problems first before we try to help someone else fix their problems

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:29 PM

Lisa C: Should we deny that to someone?

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:30 PM

Guest6167 (guest): Deny them the suffering and its merits, definitely not.;

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:30 PM

Dawn (guest): we do not know how God is working in someone in their last moments or by their suffering

 

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:31 PM

Carol Ann: then we must be better at explaining the vaue of suffering to a world that see it as a curse

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:31 PM

Guest5026 (guest): Soo true Dawn !

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:31 PM

Guest6167 (guest): I agree Carol Ann!

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:31 PM

Lisa C: We can try, but if faith is a gift I am not sure they will always hear.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:31 PM

Guest6167 (guest): Sad but true.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:32 PM

Dawn (guest): right because salvation comes from God, not us

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:32 PM

Lisa C: I think they will hear at the moment of their death.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:33 PM

Guest5026 (guest): Soo good to be there for others when they are passing when we can .Great comfort from

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:33 PM

Amy Cochran: hearing is the last sense to go.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:33 PM

Guest5026 (guest): God through us

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:33 PM

Lisa C: It is called good news, because it is done and now we get to hear about it, it is there for everyone

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:35 PM

Guest6167 (guest): Great discussion, everybody! I wish all of you a blessed week. Let us seek to grow in love and in obedience to the will of God.

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:35 PM

Lisa C: God be praised!

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:36 PM

Dawn (guest): Praise be to Jesus Christ! God bless you all and thank you

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:37 PM

Dawn (guest): Goodnight!

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:37 PM

Guest5026 (guest): Thank You Jesus for this wonderful chat time with all our friends in Christ ! God Love You All ! Brian

 

 

Dec 4 2016, 8:37 PM

Carol Ann: Have a blessed week!

Advent Week 2- Blessed Mother and the Incarnation

We continue our Advent series with thoughts by St. Francis de Sales on the Incarnation, from his sermons. This week we focus on Blessed Mother and her unique role in the Incarnation of her Son.

SundayAt the moment the glorious Virgin gave her consent,the Holy Spirit formed the Savior’s body,and at the same time, His most holy soul came to animate it.(St Francis de Sales Sermon, Dec 24, 1620)

Image may contain: sky, cloud and outdoorMonday

The loving sighs of Our Lady advanced the Incarnation of Our Lord, according to the ancient Doctors.(Jan 1621)St Francis de Sales

Tuesday

In His eternity He had foreseen that the Holy Virgin would implore Him to hasten the moment of His coming into the world and that He would hearken to her prayer.(Jan 1621)St Francis de Sales

Wednesday

The Fathers considering this word of the Song of Songs , “Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth,”  say that this kiss is nothing else but the accomplishment of the Mystery of the Lords Incarnation. This kiss was granted to Our Lady who merits the name of  spouse par excellence.(Mar 25 1621) St Francis de Sales

Thursday

The divine union of the Eternal Word with human nature  was made in the sacred womb of our glorious Virgin.( Mar 25 1621) St Francis de Sales

Friday

Our most glorious Mother practiced these two virtues, charity and humility, in a sovereign degree at the time of the Incarnation. (Jul 1621) St Francis de Sales

Saturday

When Blessed Mother said, “let it be done to me you say,” at that ,moment the divine Word took flesh in her virginal womb and she became the Mother of God. (Jul 1621 )St Francis de Sales

Obedience

There are two kinds of obedience, one necessary, the other voluntary

 

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On Sunday we will chat about obedience.
We continue our series with Part III, Chapter 11: “Obedience” from An Introduction to the Devout Life. Here Saint Francis teaches us to learn that serving God is our greatest joy.

Love alone leads to perfection, but the three chief means for acquiring it are obedience, chastity, and poverty. Obedience is a consecration of the heart, chastity of the body, and poverty of all worldly goods to the Love and Service of God. These are the three members of the Spiritual Cross, and all three must be raised upon the fourth, which is humility. I am not going here to speak of these three virtues as solemn vows, which only concern religious, nor even as ordinary vows, although when sought under the shelter of a vow all virtues receive an enhanced grace and merit; but it is not necessary for perfection that they should be undertaken as vows, so long as they are practised diligently. The three vows solemnly taken put a man into the state of perfection, whereas a diligent observance thereof brings him to perfection. For, observe, there is a great difference between the state of perfection and perfection itself, inasmuch as all prelates and religious are in the former, although unfortunately it is too obvious that by no means all attain to the latter. Let us then endeavour to practise these three virtues, according to our several vocations, for although we are not thereby called to a state of perfection, we may attain through them to perfection itself, and of a truth we are all bound to practise them, although not all after the same manner.

There are two kinds of obedience, one necessary, the other voluntary. The first includes a humble obedience to your ecclesiastical superiors, whether Pope, Bishop, Curate, or those commissioned by them. You are likewise bound to obey your civil superiors, king and magistrates; as also your domestic superiors, father, mother, master or mistress. Such obedience is called necessary, because no one can free himself from the duty of obeying these superiors, God having appointed them severally to bear rule over us. Therefore do you obey their commands as of right, but if you would be perfect, follow their counsels, and even their wishes as far as charity and prudence will allow: obey as to things acceptable; as when they bid you eat, or take recreation, for although there may be no great virtue in obedience in such a case, there is great harm in disobedience. Obey in things indifferent, as concerning questions of dress, coming and going, singing or keeping silence, for herein is a very laudable obedience. Obey in things hard, disagreeable and inconvenient, and therein lies a very perfect obedience. Moreover, obey quietly, without answering again, promptly, without delay, cheerfully, without reluctance; and, above all, render a loving obedience for His Sake Who became obedient even to the death of the Cross for our sake; Who, as Saint Bernard says, chose rather to resign His Life than His Obedience.

If you would acquire a ready obedience to superiors, accustom yourself to yield to your equals, giving way to their opinions where nothing wrong is involved, without arguing or peevishness; and adapt yourself easily to the wishes of your inferiors as far as you reasonably can, and forbear the exercise of stern authority so long as they do well.

It is a mistake for those who find it hard to pay a willing obedience to their natural superiors to suppose that if they were professed religious they would find it easy to obey.

Voluntary obedience is such as we undertake by our own choice, and which is not imposed by others. Persons do not choose their own King or Bishop, or parents–often not even their husband; but most people choose their confessor or director. And whether a person takes a vow of obedience to him (as Saint Theresa, beyond her formal vow to the Superior of her Order, bound herself by a simple vow to obey Father Gratian), or without any vow they resolve to obey their chosen spiritual guide, all such obedience is voluntary, because it depends upon our own will.

Obedience to lawful superiors is regulated by their official claims. Thus, in all public and legal matters, we are bound to obey our King; in ecclesiastical matters, our Bishop; in domestic matters, our father, master or husband; and in personal matters which concern the soul, our confessor or spiritual guide.

Seek to be directed in your religious exercises by your spiritual father, because thereby they will have double grace and virtue;–that which is inherent in that they are devout, and that which comes by reason of the spirit of obedience in which they are performed. Blessed indeed are the obedient, for God will never permit them to go astray.

Questions to Ponder:

  1. With all the political events of the last year and a half, how can these words of Saint Francis help us embrace our political climate? “Therefore do you obey their commands as of right, but if you would be perfect, follow their counsels, and even their wishes as far as charity and prudence will allow.”
  2. What are your thoughts on obedience? Why does it at first appear to be the opposite of what we think God asks of us?
  3. If obedience is good, where do you draw the line? What if one of our equals perceives what they think is a weakness on our part and tries to take advantage of us by asking us to do all kinds of difficult things?
  4. How can we look at obedience as a positive thing instead of thinking of it as some kind of oppresive idea?
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