Lately, I’ve been giving some thought to the virtue of Obedience. It’s not necessarily a complex idea, but in practice, it can prove a bit tricky. 


The first people we learn to obey are our parents. But, once we reach adulthood, that changes. And, for us lay folks, we don’t have a ‘superior’ to whom we’re asked to be obedient too. The closest thing might be the clergy in our parish and diocese, but few people are without hesitation when it comes to placing our complete trust in clergy (that’s just the reality). 


Who then do we obey? Who is our superior?


The obvious answer is Christ. He is the one who deserves our unfailing trust and loyalty, and thus our obedience. 


But, this kind obedience is very different than someone who is standing right in front of you telling you what to do or what not to do. Which is why obedience must be linked to discernment — prayerfully recognizing the will of God in our lives. 


Trust, piety, obedience, prudence. We can also see that virtues don’t grow in isolation. A rising tide lifts all boats. 


“To obey in faith is to submit freely to the word that has been heard, because its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself. Abraham is the model of such obedience offered us by Sacred Scripture. The Virgin Mary is its most perfect embodiment.” CCC 144

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