A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Obedience of faith

"Do your own thing. Be whatever you want to be. Live by your own lights."

Such is the message of today’s world.

St. Paul mentions a very different message in today’s first reading (Romans 1:1-7):

The obedience of faith.

The elites of this world (and even some within the Church) denounce the “obedience of faith” as oppressive, and yet it is their “freedom” that is the real tyranny, their “autonomy” that is the real slavery.

Today’s culture pressures people to conform only to its definition of autonomy, an autonomy which is utterly materialistic: enslaving the human spirit to material things.

Anything that might be considered spiritual is lumped together by today’s culture with anything alleged to be a “pursuit of happiness” (“whatever floats your boat”) including both things depressingly mundane and things horrifically sordid.

Thus human life is encased within the material realm as if with concrete, while true spirituality is set aside and chained to the world of whim.

What the obedience of faith offers is infinitely more and infinitely better.

The “autonomy” of this world is built on a quicksand of uncertainty.

The obedience of faith is built on reality and on the One who created it.

The “autonomy” of the world leads only to things that are finite and temporary.

The obedience of faith opens a person to infinity and eternity in all its perfection.

What is “the obedience of faith?” The Catechism describes it this way:

"By faith, man completely submits his intellect and his will to God. With his whole being man gives his assent to God the revealer. Sacred Scripture calls this human response to God, the author of revelation, ‘the obedience of faith.’

"To obey (from the Latin ob-audire, to ‘hear or listen to’) in faith is to submit freely to the word that has been heard, because its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself. Abraham is the model of such obedience offered us by Sacred Scripture. The Virgin Mary is its most perfect embodiment."
CCC 143-144

Each one of us needs to reflect on our own personal obedience to the faith – or the lack of it – even those of us who pride ourselves on being doctrinally correct.

We may be very educated and very upright, yet each of us – today and every day – must completely submit to God in our intellect, in our will, in the depths of our soul, and in every moment of our lives.

Each and every day you and I must say with Mary,
I am the servant of the Lord.
Be it done to me according to thy word.”

In the obedience of faith we shall find perfect freedom and eternal life through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.