By: Marylin Flores
Step 8: Obedience
“If we let Christ enter fully into our lives, if we open ourselves totally to him, are we not afraid that He might take something away from us? Are we not perhaps afraid to give up something significant, something unique, something that makes life so beautiful?…. No! If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great.” Pope Emeritus Benedict
What is obedience? Is there a conflict between obedience and freedom? How can we reconcile freedom with obedience to God?
In a very simple way, we can say that obedience means doing what someone tells you to do. Now, the question then becomes: And why would I want to do that? Who is this Someone? Why is He commanding me to do something? Is there really a conflict between my will and His?
God, in His infinite love, created us, died for us, and only wants what is best for us. He is our loving Father. We are very precious in His sight.
Obedience does not mean losing ourselves, but rather enabling what is best, most beautiful, and most good in us to emerge. If God want us to do something, that is because it is truly good for us. If it is not truly good, God would not want us to do it. Like sin. It could appear good, but not truly good for us.
“If we submit to God’s will, it will certainly be opposed to part of ourselves. But this part is the negative part of us that limits us and from which God is gradually delivering us…God’s will is never opposed to what is good in us: our aspiration to truth, life, happiness, and fullness of love. Submission to God prunes things is us but never gets rid of the best part in us: our deep, positive aspirations. Just the opposite: it awakens and strengthens them, orients them, and frees them from obstacles to their fulfillment.” (Fr. Jacques Philippe)
Also, God holds the future in His hands. As the song goes: “He’s got the whole world in His hands.” If He asks me to do something, does it make sense for me not to obey my loving Father who sees the past, present, and future? As you can see, it is not only fitting to obey, it is not even logical not to.
Obedience is simply man’s response to Love, which never fails. (1 Cor 13:8)
“ If we turn away from evil out of fear of punishment, we are in the position of slaves. If we pursue the enticement of wages, . . . we resemble mercenaries. Finally if we obey for the sake of the good itself and out of love for him who commands . . . we are in the position of children.” Catechism of the Catholic Church 1828
Marylin Flores is a graduate student Majoring in Catechetic and Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. She was raised in the Philippines, and worked in the field of Information Technology prior to becoming a student.