Jesus was obedient even unto death and death on the cross; He Himself said that love is measured by the rule of obedience. “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Actually the fourth commandment obliges us to obey our parents, but it goes beyond our mere parents. Who else must we obey??? The following is a list for your personal examination of conscience.
1. GOD! First and foremost we should always obey God. St Thomas More said that he was the King’s loyal subject, but first God’s! He chose death to remain faithful to obedience to God’s commandments.
2. PARENTS! Have children ever heard the voice of God? Yes! Every time their parents tell them to do something, then they hear the voice of God and should obey. The Bible promises a blessing to obedient children. They will have a long life on the land of the living. (Ecclesiastes 3).
3. TEACHERS! St Paul states clearly that all lawful authority comes from God!
4. CATECHISTS. In the Ecclesial context, obedience should be manifested promptly and readily to the catechist, who has been chosen by God to impart religious knowledge!
5. PRIESTS/CONFESSORS. If one has chosen a good confessor and the confessor give an order then this order should be carried out willingly. It is all so clear in the Diary of Divine Mercy that St Faustina was keenly aware of Jesus speaking through her priest-confessor.
6 SUPERIORS. In Religious Life there are usually three (3) vows: Poverty, Chastity, and OBEDIENCE. When a Superior commands a subject to carry out and order then this order should be obeyed because the Superior is the voice of God.
7. SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR. Not only should one be submissive and obedient to one’s superior and confessor, but also to one’s SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR. This truth also is clearly taught in the Diary of St Faustina.
8 THE HOLY FATHER THE POPE. Of primary importance should we listen to, pray for and obey the Holy Father , the Pope, who St Catherine of Siena calls, “The Sweet Vicar of Christ on earth.” If not, the consequence is the free fall into the “Dictatorship of Moral Relativism”. There will be more than 6 million popes on earth, who will all claim to be in the right, resulting in total confusion and chaos! Be very attentive and humbly obedient to all the teachings of the Pope— It is Jesus speaking to you and He is THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE!
9. CONSCIENCE, WELL FORMED IN THE LIGHT OF THE WORD OF GOD AND THE MAGISTERIUM OF THE CHURCH. We all must obey our conscience. However, with this stipulation! It must be properly formed by knowledge of the Bible and the Bible must be interpreted by the Pope and the Magisterium with him. Parents must form the consciences of their children under this light and perspective!
10. OBEY INSPIRATIONS! This is more subtle! The Holy Spirit blows where He wills. This is where it is important that one have adequate Spiritual Direction, know his moral and mystical theology and have a magnanimous heart. The Holy Spirit will always challenge us to give more (Ignatius “Magis) of ourselves. May we be open to God’s holy inspirations and respond with the Immaculate Heart of Mary: “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word.”
Father Ed Broom, OMV, is Associate Pastor of St. Peter Chanel Church in Hawaiian Gardens, California. He is a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary and was ordained by Saint John Paul II on May 25, 1986. Fr. Ed teaches Catholic Ignatian Marian Spirituality through articles, podcasts, a radio show, retreats and spiritual direction.