When we obey our superiors, we obey God

January 12, 2022 • 3 min

#Exhortation #Obedience #Doctrine #Authority

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 450
By Venerable Louis of Granada



We shall here briefly consider the importance of fidelity to the duties of our state, which vary according to our position. The duties of one who governs, for example, are very different from those of one in subjection; the duties of a religious are very different from those of the father of a family.

According to the Apostle, those who govern must be vigilant in labor and in all things. [2 Tim. iv. 5.] This watchfulness is generally proportioned to the value of the object and to the danger which surrounds it.

Now, there is nothing of greater value, and at the same time nothing more exposed to danger, than a soul. Consequently nothing requires greater vigilance than the care which must be bestowed by one who is charged with so important a trust.

The principal duty of a subordinate is to behold God in his superiors and to pay them prompt and entire obedience.

If a monarch order me to obey his minister, do I not obey the monarch by obeying the minister? In like manner when God orders me to obey my superiors do I not obey Him by submitting to them?

This is the teaching of St. Paul: “Servants, be obedient to them that are your lords, as to Christ.” [Ephes. vi. 5.]

There are three degrees in this virtue.

The first consists in simply doing what we are commanded, the second in doing it willingly, and the third in submitting our judgment to that of our superiors by “bringing into captivity our understanding unto the obedience of Christ.” [2 Cor. x. 5.]

Many fulfil the commands of a superior, but with reluctance. Others obey, but murmur and disapprove the command. Others, in fine, cheerfully obey and heartily approve whatever order they receive.

Endeavor that such may be your obedience, bearing in mind the words of our Saviour: “He that heareth you heareth Me, and he that despiseth you despiseth Me.” [St. Luke x. 16.]

Refrain from all murmuring against superiors, that you may not deserve the reproach addressed by Moses to the Israelites: “Your murmuring is not against us, but against the Lord." [Exod. xvi. 8.]

Beware of despising those in authority, lest God should say to them, as He did to Samuel: “They have not rejected thee, but Me, that I should not reign over them.” [1 Kings viii. 7.]

Serve them with truth and sincerity, that you may never hear the terrible words of the Apostle: “You have not lied to men, but to God,” [Acts v. 4.] and that you may never incur the malediction which fell upon Ananias and Saphira for their duplicity.

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