Friday, August 29, 2008


Obedience is the virtue that grants one the willingness to submit to lawful authority. When one obeys, one is "hearing" (from the Latin audire -to hear) and one is accepting the authority.

Christ, Himself, is our model, as He subjected His life to His Father's authority. "By his loving obedience to the Father, 'unto death, even death on a cross' (Phil 2:8), Jesus fulfills the atoning mission (cf. Isa 53:10) of the suffering servant, who will 'make many righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities'(Isa 53:11; cf. Rom 5:19). " CCC 623
Christ also subjected Himself to his parents. "He went down with them, then, and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them." (Luke 2:31)

We realize that we must practice the virtue of obedience in the natural order: in the family milieu as children subject to our parents, in the educational environment as students subject to teachers, in the business world as employees subject to employers, and in the civil society as citizens subject to legitimate laws and leaders. In the spiritual order we owe obedience as members of Christ's Mystical Body to His Vicar on earth, our bishops, and our priests. Religious also owe obedience to their superiors.

We are provided with the Decalogue, Holy Scriptures, and Tradition as foundations for our observance of obedience. "Indirectly, obedience also imposes obligations on those who hold authority to direct and command others. There is a right use of authority and a wrong use; it can be neglected or abused to the detriment of subjects. Therefore, every form of obedience involves obligations on the part of those in command." (Rev. Donald F. Miller, C.SS.R.)

Summarizing the obligations of citizens and public authorities regarding the Fourth Commandment, The Catholic Cathecism states:

"2254: Public authority is obliged to respect the fundamental rights of the human person and the conditions for the exercise of his freedom."

"2255: It is the duty of citizens to work with civil authority for building up society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom."

"2256: Citizens are obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order. 'We must obey God rather than men' (Acts 5:29)."

"2257: Every society's judgments and conduct reflect a vision of man and his destiny. Without the light the Gospel sheds on God and man, societies easily become totalitarian."


All for Thee, most Sacred Heart of Jesus. (300 days indulgence)


"It is not those who say to me, 'Lord, Lord' who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven." (Mt.7:21)

"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment." (Rom 13:1-2; cf. 1 Pet.2:13-17)


O, Jesus, my Saviour, Thou didst say on entering the world: "I am come to do Thy will, O God," and didst fulfill Thy promise by becoming obedient even unto the death of the cross - O, do Thou teach me to be obedient in all things like unto Thee. In the past I have often rebelled against those who represent Thy own authority; permit me now by Thy grace to rebel no longer.

Thou didst obey Mary and Joseph at Nazareth, and all Thy civil and religious rulers. Let me see in my own superiors the same divine authority Thou didst obey, no matter what human defects Thy representatives may possess. And if Thou willest that I should have authority over others in any sphere, grant that I may exercise that authority with the same gentleness, meekness, kindness and charity that were always present in Thee.

O Mary, who didst say to the angel who represented God: "Be it done unto me according to thy word," let me echo thy beautiful submission whenever God's will is made known to me through my superiors. (Rev. Donald F. Miller, S.SS.R.)