By a Parish Priest
The Catholic Church the Teacher of Mankind
The obedience which we render to a superior is paid to God, who says, "He that hears you hears Me;" so that whatever he who holds the place of God commands, supposing it is not evidently contrary to God's law, is to be received by us as if it came from God Himself; for it is the same thing to know His Will, either from His own, from an Angel's, or from a man's mouth.
The truly obedient man does not know what it is to delay and put off the business till tomorrow; he is an enemy to any kind of demur; he prevents the superior, and even gets the start of his commands. His eyes and ears are always open to the least sign that is given him; all his other senses, and every power within him, faithfully waits the motion of his superior." He does what he is bid, goes where he is commanded, and is always ready to receive and execute any order. -------- St. Bernard
Obedience is a virtue of so excellent a nature, that Our Lord was pleased to mark its observance upon the whole course of His life; thus He often says, He did not come to do His own will, but that of His Heavenly Father.
Naturally we all have an inclination to command, and a great aversion to obey; and yet it is certain that it is more for our good to obey than to command; hence perfect souls have always had a great affection for obedience, and have found all their joy and comfort in it.
Whoever wishes to live happily and to attain perfection, must live conformably to reason, to rule, and to obedience, and not to his natural likes and dislikes; such an one must esteem all rules, must honor them all, must cherish them all, at least in the superior part of the will; for if one rule be despised now, another will be so tomorrow, and on the third day it will be no better. When once the bonds of duty are broken, everything will be out of order, and exhibit a scene of confusion. -------- St. Francis of Sales
St. Paul commands us to obey all superiors, even those who are bad. Our Blessed Saviour, His Virgin Mother, and St. Joseph have taught us this kind of obedience in the journey they took from Nazareth to Bethlehem, when Caesar published an edict that his subjects should repair to the place of their nativity to be enrolled. They complied with this order with the most affectionate obedience, though the Emperor was a pagan and an idolator, so desirous was Our Lord of showing us that we should never regard the persons of those who command, provided they be invested with sufficient authority. -------- St. Francis of Sales
One of the greatest graces for which I feel myself indebted to Our Lord is, that His Divine Majesty has given me the desire to be obedient; for in this virtue I find most consolation and contentment, it being that which Our Lord recommended by His own example more than any other, and on this account I desire to possess it more than anything else in the world.
The more we see that any action springs not from the motive of obedience, the more evident is it that it is a temptation of the enemy; for when God sends an inspiration, the very first effect of it is to infuse a spirit of docility. -------- St. Teresa
Obedience is a short cut to perfection. They who are living under obedience, if they really wish to advance in the ways of God, must give themselves up always and in all things into the hands of their superiors; and they who are not living under obedience must subject themselves to some learned and discreet confessor, whom they may obey in the place of God, disclosing to him, with perfect candor and simplicity, the affairs of their soul; and they should never come to any resolution without his advice. Nothing gives greater security to our actions, or more effectually cuts the snares the devil lays for us, than to follow another person's will, rather than our own, in doing good. -------- St. Philip
He who always acts under obedience may be assured that he will not have to give an account of his actions to God. -------- St. Philip
By the other virtues, we offer God what we possess; but by obedience, we offer ourselves to Him. They who obey are conquerors, because by submitting themselves to obedience they triumph over the Angels, who fell through disobedience. -------- St. Gregory
Obedience is a penance of reason, and, on that account, a sacrifice more acceptable than all corporal penances and mortifications.
God is more pleased to behold the lowest degree of obedience, for His sake, than all other good works which you can possibly offer to Him. -------- St. John of the Cross
A single instant passed under simple obedience is immeasurably more valuable in the sight of God than an entire day spent in the most sublime contemplation. -------- St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
He who follows his own ideas in opposition to the direction of his superiors needs no devil to tempt him, for he is a devil to himself. -------- St. John Climacus
There are three sorts of obedience; the first, obedience when a strict obligation is imposed upon us, and this is good; the second when the simple word of the superior, without any strict command, suffices for us, and this is better; the third, when a thing is done without waiting for an express command, from a knowledge that it will be pleasing to the superior, and this is the best of all. -------- St. Ignatius
See God in your superiors; so shall you learn to revere their will and follow their commands. Be well assured that obedience is the safest guide and most faithful interpreter of the Divine Will. Pour out your hearts to them as freely as water, mindful that they are charged with the direction of your souls ... Above all, do not be your own master, relying on your own prudence, contrary to the caution of the wise man. -------- St. Ignatius
He that is truly obedient does not wait for a command, but as soon as he knows what his superior wishes to have done immediately sets himself to work, without expecting an order. Blessed Albert the Great
It is better to cherish the humble desire of living according to the rule of the community, and to be diligent in its observance, than to entertain exalted desires of performing imaginary wonders, for such imaginations only tend to swell our hearts with pride, lead us to undervalue our brethren, from an impression that we are better than they. -------- St. Pacomius
All that is done by obedience is meritorious ... It is obedience, which, by the light of Faith, puts self-will to death, and causes the obedient man to despise his own will and throw himself into the arms of his superior ... Placed in the bark of obedience, he passes happily through the stormy sea of this life, in peace of soul and tranquility of heart. Obedience and faith disperse darkness; he is strong because he has no longer any weakness or fears, for self-will, which is the cause of inordinate fear and weakness, has been destroyed.
Oh! how sweet and glorious is the virtue of obedience, by which all other virtues exist, because it is the offspring of charity! On it is founded the rock of faith; it is a queen, whom he that espouses is rich in every kind of good and whom no evil can assail. -------- St. Catherine of Siena
A pure soul is like a fine pearl. As long as it is hidden in the shell, at the bottom of the sea, no one thinks of admiring it. But if you bring it into the sunshine, this pearl will shine and attract all eyes. Thus the pure soul, which is hidden from the eyes of the world, will one day shine before the Angels in the sunshine of eternity.
The pure soul is a beautiful rose, and the Three Divine Persons descend from Heaven to inhale its fragrance. -------- Ven. Cure d'Ars
Like a beautiful white dove rising from the midst of the waters, and coming to shake her wings over the earth, the Holy Spirit issues from the infinite ocean of the Divine perfections, and hovers over pure souls, to pour into them the balm of love. The Holy Spirit reposes in a pure soul as in a bed of roses. There comes forth from a soul in which the Holy Spirit resides a sweet odor, like that of the vine when it is in flower. Ven. Cure d'Ars
Chastity is the lily of virtues, and makes men almost equal to Angels. Everything is beautiful in accordance with its purity. Now the purity of man is chastity, which is called honesty, and the observance of it, honor and also integrity; and its contrary is called corruption; in short, it has this peculiar excellence above the other virtues, that it preserves both soul and body fair and unspotted. -------- St. Francis of Sales
What is more comely than chastity, which makes one generated from impure seed pure; an enemy, a friend; and a man, an Angel? There is a difference, indeed, between a chaste man and an angel, but in happiness, not in virtue; the angel's chastity is more happy; but man's is more proved. -------- St. Bernard
Chastity, or cleanness of heart, holds a glorious and distinguished place among the virtues, because she, alone, enables man to see God; hence Truth itself said, "Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God." -------- St. Augustine
There is no remedy so powerful against the heat of concupiscence as the remembrance of our Saviour's Passion. In all my difficulties I never found anything so efficacious as the wounds of Christ: In them I sleep secure; from them I derive new life. -------- St. Augustine
If you desire to be chaste, be retired, be modest, be mortified. -------- St. Leonard of Port Maurice
Humility is the safeguard of chastity. In the matter of purity, there is no greater danger than not fearing the danger. For my part, when I find a man secure of himself and without fear, I give him up for lost. I am less alarmed for one who is tempted and who resists by avoiding the occasions, than for one who is not tempted and is not careful to avoid occasions. When a person puts himself in an occasion, saying, I shall not fall, it is an almost infallible sign that he will fall, and with great injury to his soul. -------- St. Philip
I tremble when I think of so many great men, who after their virtues had placed them among the stars, and almost fixed their habitation in Heaven, have miserably fallen into most grievous sins and died impenitent. We have seen, Lord, the great lights of Thy Church fall from Heaven, being pulled from thence by the infernal dragon; and, on the contrary, some that lay, as it were grovelling on the ground, have been wonderfully elevated all at once by Thy almighty hand. -------- St. Augustine
Your good resolutions must not make you proud, but humble and diffident; you carry a large sum of gold about you, take care not to meet any highwaymen. In this life there is nothing certain: we are in a continual warfare, and, therefore, ought to be on our guard day and night. We sail in a tempestuous sea that threatens us on every side, and in a poor leaky vessel: the devil, who aims at nothing less than our destruction, never ceases to increase the storm, to overwhelm us thereby, if he can; hence it was that the Apostle gave this precaution, even to the virtuous: "Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall" (1 Cor. x.12) -------- St. Jerome : Epistle to St. Eustochium
Some complain that mankind will fail if so many are consecrated virgins. I desire to know who ever wanted a wife and could not find one? The killing of an adulterer, the pursuing or waging war against a ravisher, are the consequences of marriage. The number of people is greatest where virginity is most esteemed. Enquire how many virgins are consecrated every year at Alexandria, all over the East and in Africa, where there are more virgins than men in the country. -------- St. Ambrose
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