As we take seriously the call to hear, understand and execute the inspirations of the Holy Spirit in order to follow The Lord in the holiness He desires for us out of Love, we have discussed the first requirement, which is to give praise and thanksgiving always. We especially must give sincere praise and thanksgiving for every blessing and Grace we have received up to the present moment, so that more Grace is showered upon us! The next step is to recognize the critical need for Obedience: the Virtue to desire to obey God in everything. Note the key phrase is desire to obey.
Our mentor, Fr. Jacques Philippe, explains that obeying in everything “is still something that is Impossible for us to do because of our weakness. But we do have to be determined to do so, and to do all in our power, particularly by prayer, (to) keep strengthening our resolution not to neglect a single one of the wishes God might express to us, no matter how small it might be…In this area, as in everything, we should let ourselves be led by love and not by fear.” Note we must pray to the Holy Spirit often for this Virtue and all Virtues!
Fr. Jacques explains that we don’t receive and hear more inspirations of the Holy Spirit because we are stuck in our bad habits of subtle disobedience or of simple ignorance due to our failure to spend more time knowing our Faith and the Person of the Holy Spirit and how He sanctifies us. He illuminates: “to obtain more inspirations, we need to begin by obeying the ones we receive”, especially the obvious ones of the “Commandments and the duties of our state in life and so on.” One very clear example of this would be shopping on Sundays (except in true emergencies) and watching professional sports or other television shows which cause people to work for pay on Sundays, when other days are available. Another would be failing to tithe. Think carefully about these two failures in Obedience which hold many back, and ask the Holy Spirit to help move your intelligence and your will toward His Will!
Failures in Obedience also include our failure to obey people who have authority over us or who have legitimate needs and we fail to meet them: “If we can only obey people when it happens to please us, we are fooling ourselves about being able to obey the Holy Spirit….Finally, we should not forget the sort of obedience that may be the most important and the most overlooked: what might be called ‘obedience to events’…This is a form of obedience that is painful but very fruitful…to practice an attitude of abandonment and filial trust toward our Heavenly Father, in the Faith that for ‘those who love God, everything works together for good’…The events of life are…the surest expression of God’s Will, as there is no danger of our interpreting them subjectively….What often happens is that, when we are confronted with painful occurrences, we either rebel, or endure them unwillingly, or resign ourselves to them passively. But God invites us to a much more positive and fruitful attitude…”
Fr. Jacques gives us the example of our master of simplicity St. Therese, who exclaimed: “I want everything that causes me difficulties”. He notes that it does not change anything exteriorly, but interiorly, when we unite all our difficulties with our Lord’s merits in joy, they draw down incredible Grace for ourselves and others, especially the Grace to receive and hear more inspirations of the Holy Spirit, and the Grace to enjoy a much higher place in Love for all eternity! So, let us begin today in our prayer throughout the day, especially in our prayer to the Holy Spirit, to beg for the Grace to be much more obedient in every single thing.
Let us remember precisely how we accomplish this change in ourselves by listening to what our Lord taught St. Faustina: “By your Obedience, you give Me great glory and gain merit for yourself…Yes, when you are Obedient, I take away your weakness and replace it with My strength…I am very surprised that souls do not want to make this exchange with Me.”
All is Grace! All Sanctity comes from the Spirit of Christ! But we must desire, beg and correspond to Grace! First, praise and thanksgiving everywhere and always, and then obedience in all things! (Please review the Post of April 1, 2015 on the need for a spiritual director).