The Freedom of Obedience

by Thomas A. Stobie, S.F.O.


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Read and pause often to think what is mentioned as it applies to your life.

Meditation on the Freedom of Obedience

  1. Let us define what Obedience and Holy Obedience is.

    Obedience is obeying the requests of those who are over you. This may be in a certain circumstances, entire parts of your life, or in all aspects of your life. We all have many obediences we live with, the obedience to God, the obedience to the laws of the land, the obedience to the Church, the obedience to our bosses, the obedience to our parents when we are children, and there are others. Some obediences are more important than other obediences.

    Holy Obedience is obeying one who loves you and cares about you as much as they care about themselves. It involves that the obeyer trust the one in charge.

  2. Let us discuss obedience.

    God calls us all to be obedience to His Will. This includes obeying the Ten Commandments (given through Moses and as explained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church) and the Great Commandments (given by Jesus). It also means that we need to listen to God and discern His Will for our lives.

    When God asks you to be in Holy Obedience to another person, He is asking you to trust that person totally that in love they will do what it best for you. If they request you do something which you feel is wrong, you should tell them about the wrongness and let them explain how it is not wrong. If it is still wrong (immoral in your eyes) you need to tell them that and refuse to obey.

    God also asks each of us to be in Holy Obedience to the Church. We are called to trust that the Church knows what it is doing and is trying to do its best for us. God has given the Church to help us understand and teach His Will for us.

    God also asks us to obey moral civil laws. Laws are intended for the good of society and its members. (There are cases where laws are not intended for the good of society and all its members, but we are called to work to get them changed and where they are not immoral to obey them.)

    Obedience is not permitted when the request or law is immoral. This is so because obedience to God takes precedence over all other obediences.

  3. Now let us examine how obedience sets us free.

    Often in obedience we are asked to surrender things in our life for our own good. The more we do so, the more we find ourselves free from worry, free from fear, and free from anxiety. These worries, fears, and anxieties can enslave us and keep us from the fullness of life.

    Often, we asked to obey in an area that we are not good at ourselves, for example, managing finances or controlling traffic on the streets. When we obey in these areas, we trust those in charge, whether another person or a government, that they are looking after our best interests and that we will be better off by being obedient and be freed of that responsibility.

    At times, we are asked to obey, to help us overcome a weakness in our life or to better ourselves. In these cases, by submitting to the teacher, we are trusting that they want the best for us and will act in understanding of who we are. By obeying we free ourselves from our limitations and open up new avenues in our lives.

    Leaders are responsible for those they lead (and accountable to God for them). Followers are often freed of responsibilties that the leader performs in their interest. A true leader is the servant of his followers always acting in love and in obedience to God.

    Obedience to God sets us free from the chains of sin. Free to be all that we can be. Free to love to fullest.

Obedience frees us to experience the joy of life.

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Prayer of Seeking Freedom in Obedience







O Generous & Loving Father,

Your son, Jesus, gave his life for us in Holy Obedience to Your divine will. Thank You for the sacrifice of Your Son.

Help us to have the strength and wisdom to submit in Holy Obedience to Your Will and those you place in charge of us. Grant in us a strong trust of those whom You wish us to obey.

Provide us the knowledge to know what is right from wrong, resist immoral orders, and submit in Holy Obedience.

Grant us holy people in our lives with whom You can ask us to obey, that they might help us live in lives to the fullest and come closer to You. Help us always to be in holy obedience to the Church, trusting that the Church will lead us right and that You, God, guide the Church in its actions.

Help us to surrender those things you do not want us to have, such as worries, fears, anxieties, sinful things, or those things that lead us to sin.

Help us to understand the freedom we gain through obedience and joy of holy obedience. Transform us to seek to live in Holy Obedience.

Amen.

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Meditation by Thomas A. Stobie, SFO 2002-2007. Permission granted to copy for personal use.


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Last Modified 5 Nov 2008.