Patron saint of every one of us Catholics who imagines that when the Church teaches something we don’t like and we gripe and complain about it and refuse to consider changing our lives, we are Catherine of Siena rebuking the Pope. Those on the Left who do this always invoke “primacy of conscience”. Those on the Right who do it always invoke “prudential judgment”. We are all are actually just blowing off the teaching of the Church because it get in the way of our quest for power, our need for security, or our desire for honor or pleasure. Our real attitude is to supposed to be docility, a word that fills an awful lot or us modern Catholics with revulsion and nameless terror. It means, not blind and unreasoning obedience, but the attitude that, unless there is a damn good reason not to do so–a damn good reason–we should try to obey the Church even in her prudential guidance and not whittle discipleship down to only paying attention to the Minimum Daily Adult Requirement for listening to bare bones dogma and nothing more.
Here begins the treatise of obedience, and first of where obedience may be found, and what it is that destroys it, and what is the sign of a man’s possessing it, and what accompanies and nourishes obedience.
By the way, salutations to the St. Catherine of Siena Institute!