Choose a topic from Part 2B:

104. Obedience

1. Obedience is the virtue of conforming ones conduct tothe command of a superior.

2. Obedience is a special virtue. Its specific object is acommand, expressed or understood. It is a moral virtue, that is, awill-virtue. Obedience is subordinate to the virtue of justice.

3. Obedience is perfectly practiced when it proceeds outof justice through charity. In measuring the greatness of obedienceas a virtue, we must not fail to grasp its debt to thesefundamental virtues of justice and charity. In itself, obedience isnot so great a virtue as the two virtues that give it perfecteffectiveness and value.

4. God is to be obeyed always and in all things. For Godis the absolute lord of all, the creator and owner of everycreature. Justice demands that all creatures should submit whollyto God's will.

5. Human superiors are to be obeyed within the sphere oftheir authority. They are not to be obeyed when their command is inconflict with the law of God.

6. Obedience to the civil law is the duty of citizens. AndChristians, more than others, should understand that the civilorder is necessary to man, and that it cannot be preserved withoutobedience to justly established human law. Yet no citizen is toobey a law that contravenes the law of God. When St. Peter and St.John were ordered by the Council to "speak no more in thisname [Jesus]," they answered (Acts 4:19): "If it be justin the sight of God to hear you rather than God, judge ye." Acivil law that conflicts with the law of God, is not a law at all,for a law is essentially "an ordinance of reason"; it iscomplete unreason for men to legislate against the supremelegislator.

"Men should often renew their good resolutions, and not lose heart because they are tempted against them."
St Philip Neri

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"When the devil has failed in making a man fall, he puts forward all his energies to create distrust between the penitent and the confessor, and so by little and little he gains his end at last."
St Philip Neri

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"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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