OBEDIENCE
Written by Fr. Hannibal Mary Di Francia   
Friday, 07 August 2009 03:06

1. As to holy obedience, I declare that this virtue forms the life and the existence of all religious institutes. As the natural order subsists because the elements obey the laws of Divine Will should they disobey, the cosmos would end in a moment, so a religious house subsists through faithful, perfect obedience; should obedience fail, the natural and supernatural means for its existence would do.

(Forty Declarations and Promises, 1910, RA p.259)

 

2. Humble obedience is perfect imitations of our Lord Jesus Christ, who always proclaimed to do hi Father’s will up to the death on the cross; by doing so, the obedient person transforms himself into Jesus Christ. I will pray every day to the adorable Heart of Jesus to make me a perfect obedient Religious.

(Forty Declarations and Promises, 1910, RA pp.259-60, 61)

                       

3. I acknowledge that holy obedience is a virtue leading to perfect sanctification and to union with God, because the people accomplish God’s will perfectly by obeying the superiors along with the rules. Obedience is also the surest, safest, and shortest way to reach great perfection, and a religious house where all the people obey the religiously is a kingdom of God on Earth.

(Forty Declarations and Promises, 1910, RA p. 259)

 

4. Disobedience, instead, makes people resemble Lucifer, who said “I will not serve”. If prohibited by obedience, even the good actions become bad, while the most indifferent ones become worthy of great merit when they are accomplished by obedience. Always bearing in mind the Holy Spirit’s saying “the speech of the obedient will always be heard,” I will strive with all my strength to obey my superiors, the rules, and the constitutions.

(Forty Declarations and Promises, 1910, RA p. 260)

 

5. Since without obedience no religious order can stand, obedience must be regarded by the congregants as the order’s life, distinguishing between the observance of the vow and the observance of the virtue of obedience.  By vow the congregants must obey the superiors in everything concerning the institute and its rules. As to the virtue of obedience, the congregants will hold that they cannot be good Religious without obedience, because love of God, zeal for the Divine glory, humility, chastity, poverty, charity, and vocation fail without it.

(Rules of the Pious Congregation of the Rogationist,…,RA p.261)           

 

6. Obedience is the fundamental virtue of a religious community, which cannot exist without it. Through obedience the Religious soon becomes holy, mortifies her passions, becomes dearest to the Lord, and keeps herself safe from the devil, the world, and her own selfishness, while also achieving the other virtues.

(Constitutions of the Daughters of Divine Zeal,…, RA p.262)

 

7. That my obedience in the Lord be useful to myself as well as to the institute, I declare: I renounce unreservedly my will at the hands of my superiors. I will not be obstinate in my judgment and opinion. I promise to obey for supernatural reason such as pleasing the Sacred Heart of Jesus, setting good examples to others, seeing Jesus Christ in the superiors, and obeying for God’s sake.

(Forty Declarations and Promises, 1910, RA p.260)

 

8. The Religious who is perfectly subdued to obedience, enjoys great peace along with freedom of spirit, and the more he seem tied, the more he is free. Putting herself in the hands of the Lord as malleable wax to be shaped as he wants, the obedient Religious will be Jesus Christ’s spouse because he was obedient to his Father up to the death for our sake.

(Constitutions of the Daughters of Divine Zeal,… RA p.262)

 

9. Jesus Christ and the Most Holy Virgin are the most perfect models of obedience. Next follow the examples of the saints who esteemed obedience more than raptures and miracles. And the saints prefer obedience to the greatest penance and to the holy works.

(Constitutions of the Daughters of Divine Zeal,…, RA p.262)

 

10. As sin came into the world by disobedience, so the virtues enter the souls by obedience making them pleasant to God. Therefore, the community practicing perfect obedience is a community of angels.

(Constitutions of the Daughters of Divine Zeal,…, RA p.262)

 

11. To fully appreciate this virtue, we notice that God holds obedience as preferable to his orders, as we know from the people who experience that in supernatural ways. For instance, St. Veronica Guiliani was told by the Most Holy Virgin, You will not say “I always want to do god’s will and holy obedience,” but will say “I always want to do holy obedience and God’s will.”

(Constitutions of the Daughters of Divine Zeal,…, RA p. 262)

 

12. The aspirant will nurture a great love for obedience, knowing that this virtue is the shortest way to reach holiness and that people reach their goal safely by living under obedience. Since God delights much in the obedient souls, He blesses them with special graces making them always succeed.

(Rules for the Rogationists Aspirants,…, RA pp.262-263)

 

13. The disobedient ones are like a boat without rudder never reaching the harbor because God leaves them in the power of their fool counsel. The example of Saul who was reproved by God for disobedience is dreadful; more dreadful is the example of our first parents who ruined humankind by sinning against disobedience.

(Rules for the Rogationists Aspirants,…, RA p.263)

 

14. Obedience is the first practical rule for the people who want to reach perfection and eternal life.  This virtue is precious because it is based on humility, which was taught and practiced by our Lord Jesus Christ, by the Most Holy Virgin, and all the saints.

(Rules for the Rogationists Aspirants,… RA p.263

 

15. Through this Divine virtue, a person dispossesses himself, surrendering to God, who will dispose of him as he likes. Obedience is the safest way to reach Christian perfection, but it must be endowed with many qualities in order to be perfect. First it must be interior. It follows that the probationer has to obey for God’s sake imitating our Lord Jesus Christ.

(Initial rules of the Rogationists Postulants,…, RA p.262)

 

16. When a person obeys with self-denial, he makes a sacrifice of his own will, deserving more merit. We must remember that our Lord Jesus Christ obeyed up to death. Obedience is the death of selfishness, the sacrifice of one’s own will, and is painful. The probationers must be convinced that they are unable to please God, to improve their virtues, and to persevere in the good, unless they are perfectly obedient.

(Initial rules of the Rogationists Postulants,…, RA pp.263-264)

           

17. The daughters of Divine Zeal will love holy obedience: blind, ready, joyous, simple, constant, interior, supernatural obedience. The Religious obeys for God’s pure sake in order to please the adorable Heart of Jesus, to be united with him, to attract his blessings, and to become holy and rich with merits and virtues when then celestial spouse will call her to the celestial wedding.

(Constitutions of the DDZ, RA p. 264-265)

 

18. Obeying by supernatural motives requires of the religious both to see God and the most holy Virgin in the superiors as well as to see God’s and the most holy Virgin’s orders, commands, counsels, exhortations and wishes in the superior’s orders.

(Constitutions of the DDZ, RA p. 265)

 

19. The novice will keep in mind the divine examples of Jesus who was obedient up to the death on the cross, and now is obedient to his creatures in the holy sacrament, as well as the example of the most holy Virgin Mary, who is the teacher and model of perfect obedience, and the saints, especially the glorious Patriarch St. Joseph.

(Rules of the Little Poor of the Heart of Jesus, RA p. 266)

 

20. St. Joseph Little Retreat novices will always consider that they cannot find Jesus entirely according to the novitiate’s aim, unless they follow holy obedience, that every soul walking out of holy obedience is astray, and that every soul following holy obedience is on the way of divine union.

(Rules of the Little Poor of the Heart of Jesus, RA p. 265)

 

21. Even though I am the most unworthy among the ministers, for the inscrutable design of Divine Providence I am the governor. But the principal that one governs and the others is always the same.

(To Jansen Bucca. 1887, FL. p. 68)

 

22. Your orders are very precious to me, and obeying with all my heart is my glory. Humbly kissing your hands, I am always ready to obey on hearing from you.

(To H.E. Card. Giuseppe Guarino, Arch. Of Messina, 1906, FL. P. 103-105)

 

23. It would be excellent if you choose a guide, because living in one’s own will always involves some risks. Our Lady will send you the guide but before choosing it you must pray for a long time with such fervor.

(To Sr. Maria of the Cross Melania Calvat, 1897, FL. P. 108)

 

24. I express another pleasant wish. Until you keep the office to which the Lord has appointed you, may all of your subjects console you with their obedience, being ready to accept your admonitions, May they be disciplined and dutiful, advancing in virtues. May you see the vocations of humble, holy souls increase.

(To Mother Nazarena Majone, Sup. Gen. Of the DDZ, 1902, FL.p. 164)

 

25. Even though my institute’s rule is not rigorous, we are seriously concerned about obedience, respect amd subjection to the superior, education and mutual fine manners, and exact fulfillment of one’s own duty. We require that the youth be detached from everything, even from personal devotions, being ready for self-denial.

(To a Canon of Acireale, 1902, FL. p. 170-171)

 

26. Jesus likes humble, fervent souls as his brides. The tepid, negligent, stubborn souls are unsuitable. Because the foundations of religious life reside in perfect subjection, respect, and confidence toward superiors, I recommend these virtues.

(To the DDZ, 1903, FL. p. 184)

 

27. Blessed daughter, I recommend you perfectly to conform your will to mine as far as far as I am the director of the Daughters of Divine Zeal. By doing so, God will bless you and everything will be fine. Do not trust yourself, nor escape holy obedience, nor your guide.

(To Sr. Mary of the cross, Sacro Costato Sister, 1914, FL. p. 429-430)

 

28. Holy obedience with faith and simplicity works miracles. Lack of means depends on lack of obedience. If you had obeyed, the house of Genzano would have been provided better by the Lord.

(To Sr. Mary of the cross, Sacro Costato Sister, 1914, FL. p438)

 

29. God helps people who are willing to depend on holy obedience, doing everything out of love. Those who want to do their own will, they do not love Jesus, nor will they receive help from him. I like my dearest daughters in Jesus Christ to be so, therefore I always keep them in my mind, recommending them to the sweetest Heart of Jesus and Mary.

(To Sr. Ines Mancuso,DDZ, 1917, FL. p. 521)

 

30. Please consider how great is the happiness of belonging to God through the religious vows. Do not lose heart for the vow of obedience, because Jesus said: “my yoke is sweet and my burden light” (Mt. 11, 30) When you obey, think of obeying the most holy Virgin; in fact, you know that she is the divine superior.

(To a DDZ, 1922, FL. p. 670)

 

31. Your declaration of behaving is very pleasant. I remember your feast for my saint’s name and how calm and obedient you were. The devil was defeated. Be always docile, obedient and devout. By doing so, our Lady will protect you in life and death.

(To the Little Orphans in Trani, 1923, FL. p. 725)

 

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 14 August 2009 03:03
 
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