Obedience in Religious Life

St. Francis of Assisi makes these remarks on the virtue of obedience as he would have it practiced by members of religious orders:

“A religious must not consider the person of his superior, but God alone, for Whose sake he obeys. The fewer good qualities a superior has, the greater merit there is in obeying him.”

“Man renounces all that he possesses when by obedience he places himself entirely in the hands of his superior; and everything that he shall do or say in accordance with his will (provided it be nothing wrong in itself) is an act of true obedience.”

“It is the height of obedience for the will of the superior to direct the will of the inferior without flesh and blood having, or seeming to have, any part in it.”

“He is truly obedient who does not inquire why he is moved, does not care where he is placed, and does not beg to be changed.”

“The fruits of holy obedience are so abundant that those who are charged with its burden need never lose their time; even the least moment may become extremely fruitful to them.”

Quotations from Flowers from the Garden of Saint Francis for Every Day of the Year (London: Burns and Oates, 1882).

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Sayings of Catholic saints and sages: spiritual food for meditation and reflection.
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