The Virtue That the World Struggles So Much With Today

The Virtue That the World Struggles So Much With Today February 7, 2024

Virgin Mary's virtue of obedience
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There is one virtue that the world struggles so much with today. No, it is not the virtue of purity. It is not even the virtue of temperance that guards our souls from gluttony.

As much as the world seems to idolize pleasure and comfort, it struggles more with this one virtue – the virtue of obedience.

Why Is Obedience So Difficult?

For many of us, it is far easier to say that we are kind or merciful or just. We’d rather lean on the other virtues to make ourselves believe we have already grown spiritually.

But when it comes to obedience, we’d rather remain silent and look the other way.

Obedience is hard because it alone tests where our loyalty rests. Do we obey God as a sign that we have faith in Him? Or do we obey ourselves because that’s what our sinful nature compels us to do?

To obey God is to submit to Him and to recognize His authority. To disobey Him is to make gods of ourselves. It’s as simple as that.

Our Problem with Obeying the Church

Our trouble with obedience also shows itself in obeying the precepts of the Church. I think this is one reason why people today would rather call themselves “spiritual” rather than “religious”.

We prefer to grow spiritually on our own. We do not want to submit to the proper authorities God has given us.

Why is it that many people find it hard to join the Catholic Church? It’s because of the authority it exerts.

The Church has been given authority by Jesus Christ Himself. Its leaders and members may not be perfect, but God chooses to work through imperfect people. We don’t obey the individual preferences of its people, but the faith that God has entrusted it.

It is never easy to obey the people you don’t like. But through it, we follow Him who became an obedient child and grew up submitting Himself even to earthly authorities.

“The whole of your faith is founded upon obedience, for by it you prove your fidelity.” – St. Catherine of Siena

The Virtue of Little Children

“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 18:3-4 (NABRE)

Obedience proves our humility and submission to God. It is the virtue of little children who trust their Father in heaven.

Our problem is that we are often ashamed to be like little children. We see children as weak and we’d rather appear strong. We see children as ignorant of many things, and we’d rather appear wise.

But in our quest to prove ourselves, we forget that the true way to wisdom and strength is through the path God has laid down for us – through obedience.

“Man finds in obedience the annihilation of self-love, and the true liberty of the children of God.” – St. Vincent de Paul

The Disobedience of Saul

We read in the Old Testament about Saul’s problem in obeying God. Rather than follow what God has commanded, he listened to the opinion of those around him.

When God commanded him to utterly destroy the enemy (including their goods and livestock), he kept some things including cattle and sheep with the excuse of making a sacrifice to the Lord.

What Saul failed to realize was that obedience is already the sacrifice being demanded of him.

“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obedience to the voice of the Lord?
Surely, to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is no less a sin than divination,
and stubbornness is like iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has also rejected you from being king.”
-1 Samuel 15:22-23 (NRSVCE)

“Obedience is the true holocaust which we sacrifice to God on the altar of our hearts.” – St. Philip Neri

The Importance of Obedience

Obedience is so important that without it, no person can ever claim intimacy with God.

How can you say that you love God when you refuse to obey His commandments?

“Obedience unites us so closely to God that in a way transforms us into Him, so that we have no other will but His. If obedience is lacking, even prayer cannot be pleasing to God.” – St. Thomas Aquinas

It isn’t enough to believe in Jesus Christ. You show your faith by obeying His words.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” – John 14:15 (NABRE)

Obedience helps us follow God’s ways. And His way is always the best for us!

Let us pray for the virtue of obedience so that our hearts can draw closer to God. It will not be easy. But it will be a path filled with the light and protection of God.

Our first parents failed because they did not obey Him who loved them most and knew what’s best for them. Let us imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary who humbled herself and submitted her entire being to God.

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” – Luke 1:38 (NABRE)

Jocelyn Soriano is the author of the book Defending My Catholic Faith.

“Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.” – 1 Peter 3:15 (NABRE)

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You may also want to read “What The Eight Beatitudes Mean For Our World Today”.

About Jocelyn Soriano
Jocelyn Soriano is an author, poet, and book reviewer. She is an introvert who enjoys a cup of coffee and listening to the cello ****** while working.

She wrote the books To Love an Invisible God, Defending My Catholic Faith and Mend My Broken Heart. She also wrote books on poetry including Poems of Love and Letting Go and Of Waves and Butterflies: Poems on Grief. She has published more than 15 books and developed her own Android applications including God’s Promises and Catholic Answers and Apologetics.

She writes about relationships and common questions about God and the Catholic faith at Single Catholic Writer. She is currently single and happy and she would like everyone to know how happy we can be by drawing close to the love of God!

You can read more about the author here.

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