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 Mother Teresa on Obedience and Surrender

            The following passages are quotations of Mother Teresa from the book "Jesus, The Word to be spoken," compiled by Father Angelo D. Scolozzi.

 

1. St. Therese, the Little Flower, explained surrender very beautifully when she said, “I am like a little ball in the hand of Jesus. He plays with me. He throws me away, puts me in the corner. And then like a little child who wants to see what is inside, he tears the ball apart and throws the pieces away.” This is what a Brother, a Sister and each and every one of us has to be, that little ball in the hand of Jesus, who says to Jesus, “You can do whatever you want, as you want, when you want, as long as you want.” (March 6)

 

2. We are at his disposal. If he wants you to be sick in bed, if he wants you to proclaim his word in the street, if he wants you to clean the toilets all day, that’s all right, every thing is all right. We must say, “I belong to you. You can do whatever you like.” This is our strength, and this is the joy of the Lord. (March 7)

 

3. Right from the very beginning, learn to obey. It will lead you straight to God. You don’t have to ride this crooked life. There is a very straight way to the heart of Jesus. You will never, never go astray, never make a mistake, if you understand the difference. The superior who tells you to do this or do that may make a mistake. I may make a mistake and tell the Sisters do this and go here and go there. But that Sister who does what I tell her is infallible. So it is for you, members of the third order. This conviction is total surrender. (March 8)

 

4. What Jesus did when he became man was his total surrender to his Father. Again and again we hear the word “Father.” As he was preaching, when he was teaching, when he was with the people, continually he taught the word “Father.” “I have come to do the will of my Father.” “I have been sent by the Father.” “My Father and I are one.” “I love you as the Father loves me.” All the time the Father is in his words. He belongs so much to the Father that there is no separation, no division. There was no doubt. There was no question at all. And this is what a Universal Brother or Sister of the Word has to be: completely one with Christ, completely one with the Word of God. And that Word of God, that joy that you receive in prayer and adoration and contemplation, in that aloneness with God, that same Word you are to give to others. (March 9)

 

5. Our vocation is to belong to Jesus. The easiest way and the simplest way of belonging is this: the Holy Spirit makes us do that giving of self, that total surrender to God, without any reflection, without any counting the cost. We call that “blind surrender.” It is like our Lady: when she knew that the Lord was calling, she said yes. And she never withdrew that yes. It was a blind, continual yes in her life. It is the same thing for us. The whole of our life must come to that one word, yes. Yes to God: that is holiness. We allow God to take from us whatever he wants and we accept whatever he gives with a big smile. That is yes in action. (March 10)

 

6. We must know exactly when we say yes to God what is in that yes. Yes means “I surrender,” totally, fully, without any counting the cost, without any examination, “Is it all right? Is it convenient?” Our yes to God is without any reservations. That’s what it is to be a contemplative. I belong to him so totally that there are no reservations. It doesn’t matter what we feel. (March 11)

 

7. The Word of God becomes flesh during the day, during meditation, during Holy Communion, during contemplation, during adoration, during silence. That Word in you, you give to others. It is necessary that the Word live in you, that you understand the Word, that you love the Word, that you live the Word. You will not be able to live that Word unless you give it to others. (March 12)

 

8. Total surrender to God must come in small details as it comes in big details. It’s nothing but that single word, “Yes, I accept whatever you give, and I give whatever you take.” And this is just a simple way for us to be holy. We must not create difficulties in our own minds. To be holy doesn’t mean to do extraordinary things, to understand big things, but it is a simple acceptance, because I have given myself to God, because I belong to him—--my total surrender. He could put me here. He could put me there. He can use me. He cannot use me. It doesn’t matter because I belong so totally to him that he can do just what he wants to do with me. (March 13)

 

9. To possess God we must allow him to possess our souls. How poor we would be if God had not given us the power of giving ourselves to him; how rich we are now! How easy it is to conquer God! If we give ourselves to him, then God is ours, and there can be nothing more ours than God. The money with which God repays our surrender is himself. We become of possessing him when we abandon ourselves completely to him. (June 3)

 

10. Total surrender consists in giving ourselves completely to God. We must give ourselves fully to God because God has given himself to us. If God owes nothing to us and is ready to impart to us no less than himself, shall we answer with just a fraction of ourselves? Should we not rather give ourselves fully to God as a means of receiving God himself? I for God and God for me. I live for God and give up my own self, and in this way God lives for me. (June 4)

 

11. To surrender means to offer him my free will, my reason, my own life in pure faith. My soul may be in darkness. Trial and suffering are the surest test of my blind surrender. (June 5)

 

12. Surrender is also true love. The more we surrender, the more we love God and souls. If we really love souls, we must be ready to take their place, to take their sins upon us and expiate them in us by penance and continual mortification. We must be living holocausts, for the souls need us as such. (June 6)

 

13.  The most important rule of a well-regulated family, of a family founded on love and unity, is that the children show an unbounded trust in and obedience to their parents. Jesus practiced this for thirty years in Nazareth, for we hear nothing of him but that “he was subject to them,” that is, he did what he was told. (Oct 24)

 

14. Our obedience, by being prompt, simple, blind, and cheerful, is the proof of our faith. If God loves a cheerful giver, how much more would he not love a “cheerful obeyer”? We must obey as Christ obeyed—--unto death, even death on the cross. He saw the will of his Father in everything and everybody, so that he could say, “I do the things that are pleasing to him.” He obeyed Caiaphas and Pilate because their authority was given “from above.” He submitted to them with obedience and dignity. He did not look at the human limitations of Caiaphas and Pilate. He looked at his Father, for whose love he submitted himself to them. Let us obey like Jesus and our lives would become pleasing to God and he would say. “This is my beloved child in whom I am well pleased.” (Oct 25)

 

15. Obedience wel1 lived frees us from selfishness and pride and so it helps us to find God and in him the whole world. Obedience is a special grace and it produces unfailing peace, inward joy, and close union with God. (Oct 26)

 

16. Obedience transforms small, commonplace things and occupations into acts of living faith, and faith in action is love, and love in action is service of the loving God. Obedience lived with joy creates a living awareness of the presence of God, so that fidelity to acts of obedience such as the bell, timetable, or the eating of food, that are the fruit of constant, prompt, cheerful, undivided obedience, become like drops of oil that keep the light of Jesus living in our life. (Oct 27)

 

17. If we really want to grow in holiness through obedience let us turn constantly to our Lady to teach us how to obey, to Jesus who was obedient unto death: he, being God, “went down and was subject to them.” (Oct 28)

 

18. This complete surrender of self to God must secure for us perseverance in God’s service, since by obedience we always do his most holy will and consequently obtain freedom from doubts, anxieties, and scruples. (Oct 29)

 

19. We are infallible when we obey. Ask the Holy Spirit to give us that one grace. Only Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus on the cross, can teach us obedience, and that is by the reality of his own example. (Oct 30)

 

The passages below are quotations of Mother Teresa from the book “Total Surrender,” edited by Brother Angelo Devenanda.

 

1. It is much easier to conquer a country than to conquer ourselves. Every act of disobedience weakens my spiritual life. It is like a wound letting out every drop of one’s blood. Nothing can cause this havoc in our spiritual life as quickly as disobedience.

       In the Gospel we find many proofs of Christ’s obedience. If we were to go to Nazareth in spirit we would first hear Our Lady’s answer to the angel, ‘”Be it done to me according to thy word.” Then we would hear this about Jesus, “He went down and was obedient to them”---to a carpenter and a simple village girl. Then we would hear Jesus say: “I have come to do the will of My Father, of Him who sent Me.” At last, we would see Jesus at His passion, obeying His executioners blindly.

       We must build our obedience on the example of Jesus in the Gospel. What is this obedience? By this vow of obedience I give to God something He cannot take from me without my consent: my will, of which I have full control. (73-74)

 

2. How long was Jesus subject? Thirty long years. He had come to give the good news and yet He spent thirty years doing the work of a carpenter. He was called the “son of a carpenter.” (78)

 

3. Many times Jesus said: “I have come to do the will of My Father. I and the Father are one.” In the Old Testament when did God punish? When His people did not obey; when they did not keep their word to Him. (78)

 

4.Poverty and obedience are very closely united. These complete each other. One cannot be without the other. That is why scripture says, “He, being rich, became poor.” Also, “Behold, I come to do Thy will, Oh God.” “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me.” I don’t think Jesus would have been able to live His life if He had not accepted this. He had to become poor and to obey His Father fully. He became both materially and spiritually poor. If we are proud and uncharitable, rather than empty, then we cannot really obey.

       Obedience is more difficult than poverty. Our will is the only thing we can claim. In poverty nothing is ours. In obedience I have my will, the only thing God will not take by force. The more you love God the more you will obey. (75)

 

5. “He, being rich, became poor.” It is difficult for a proud person to obey. We do not like to bend, to be humble. To be holy we need obedience. The Gospels are full of the humility of Mary. As spotless as she was, as holy as she was, she obeyed. “Humility of the heart of Jesus, fill my heart.” Let us, during the day, pray this prayer often. If there has been resentment in our hearts or if we have not accepted humiliation, we will not learn humility. We cannot learn humility from books. Jesus accepted humiliation. Nothingness cannot disobey. In our lives as Missionaries of Charity, obedience is the greatest gift we can give to God. Jesus came to do the will of His father, and He did it from the very beginning to the very end.

       If we really want to know whether something is a temptation, let us examine our obedience. It is the best light in time of temptation, and we will know exactly where we are and what we are doing. It is the best light in that terrible darkness. Even for Jesus, the devil wanted to find out who He was. He was not sure. The devil will stoop to anything to find out where our weak point is. He will do anything to get us to accept that one wrong thought, to say that one unkind word, to do that one impure act, that one act of disobedience, that one instance of giving something away without permission, that one neglect of prayer---just that one thing. If there is an award to be given for patience it should be given to the devil. He has a lot of patience.(76-77)

 

6. “Behold I come to do Your will, O God.” (Hebrew 12:7)

  Submission for someone who is in love is more than a duty---it is a blessedness.

  Jesus, only Begotten Son of the Father, equal to His father, God from God, Light from Light, did not feel it below His dignity to obey.

  Therefore, we will:

·     Accept, love, and respect all our lawful superiors,

·     Sincerely pray for them,

·     Show joyful trust in, and loyalty to them,

·     Make our obedience cheerful, prompt, simple, and constantly without question or excuse.

We should obey the known wish of our superiors as well as their commands in a spirit of faith. They may make a mistake in commanding, but we are infallible in obeying. (69-70)

 

7. Whenever our superiors think it desirable for the greater glory of God to give us a change of residence, work, or companions, we should welcome this change as the very will of God and show a humble and joyful obedience. (70)

 

8. Let the superior remember that she is first for the sisters and next for the work. Therefore, let all her dealings with the sisters be motherly, never discouraging them, especially when they fail. Let her take special care of the old and the sick and of those who do not take due care of themselves. In the house work let her be always the first to put her hand to the work. Let her have nothing special or different in food, clothes, or lodging. Let her trust her sisters completely. Let her be generous when the sisters observe poverty fervently. Let her house be a house of love, and peace. (70)

 

9. The superior is in the place of God. The position given to her is like a chair. The chair remains, but the person can change. Today I sit in the chair, tomorrow somebody else might be sitting there. But the chair is the same. The chair may not fit some as well as others. Some are too short for it and others too tall, while yet others fit it perfectly. The chair is in the place of God who gave your superior this position. I have to obey if I want to go on in peace. (71)

 

10. And all the superiors of our society, I call you to be what our Holy Father said in public---the servant of the servants of God. You are to serve and not to be served; the word “co-workers” fits each one of you more than any other sister. Remember, you are first for the sisters. Help them to grow to be Christ-like. Know each sister better. Then you will love her and only then will you serve her with a devoted love, as Christ loved each one of us.(79-80)

 

11. Many congregations have discarded this vow of obedience. They don’t have superiors anymore. Each member makes her own decisions. They have discarded obedience completely. Do you know what has happened because of that? In the United States alone fifty thousand nuns have left the religious life. The destruction of religious life comes mainly from the lack of obedience. Sheer negligence destroys religious life completely. (75-76)

 

12. True obedience is a genuine act of love. Obedience makes us practice the other virtues. It likens us to martyrs, for it is a much greater martyrdom to persevere in obedience all though life than to die in a moment by a stroke of the sword. (70-71)

 

13. It is impossible that a sister who is obedience will not become a saint.

       Obedience gives us inward joy and peace. Obedience is the only condition for close union with God.

  We want to become holy and therefore we have to be thoroughly obedient. God never takes from us what we are not willing to give. We must give it to Him with our own free will.

       For our obedience to be cheerful and prompt, we have to be convinced that it is Jesus we obey. And how do we reach that conviction? By the practice of the heroic virtue of obedience---love for love. If you want to know whether you love God, ask yourselves the question: “Do I obey?” If I obey, everything is alright. Why? Because everything depends on my will. Whether I become a saint or a sinner depends on me. So you see how very important obedience is. Our sanctity, after the grace of God depends upon our will. Don’t waste time waiting for big things to do for God. You will not have the readiness to say yes to the great things if you do not train yourselves to say yes to the thousand-and-one occasions of obedience that come your way throughout the day.

       Something happened to one of the sisters who was sent to study. The day she was to receive her degree she died. When she was dying she asked, “Why did Jesus call me for such a short time?” And her superior answered, “Jesus wants you, not your works.” She was perfectly happy after that.

  Knowledge of God, love of God, service of God---that is the end of our lives---and obedience gives us the key to it all. (71-72)

 

14. To strengthen ourselves to remain obedience, we must refrain from criticism. Anything that weakens my obedience, however small, I must keep away from. If we don’t obey, we are like a building without cement. For us, obedience is like cement. Obedience is unreasonable for a proud soul, but there is no unreasonableness in obedience for a humble soul.

  Obedience is something that makes me Christ-like. What we give up through poverty is something that many people in the world can do. The same is true of chastity. But to love and esteem the privilege of living under obedience is for the few who choose it. Why love and esteem it? Because it is not only a sure means of fulfilling the will of God but is also a very special grace and honor.

       What does perfect obedience bring? It is an unfailing source of peace. Inward joy comes only from perfect obedience.

     Close union with God is a natural result of perfect obedience.

  If we want to do something great for the church, we must first become obedient. Jesus is our model. He was poor, obedient, charitable. “In you Jesus, I want to be pure; I want to obey; I want to be poor.” I cannot say I will find the way. No, I have to give up even my own self so that only Jesus does it in me. (74-75)

 

15. Obedience is the most perfect act of love for God. I obey not because I am afraid, but because I love Jesus. Then only will I be able to progress very far in sanctity. If I neglect obedience, poverty will go. When poverty goes, chastity will go. Tradition says the angels were told to adore the Christ Child. When Satan said, “I will not serve” that was the first act of disobedience. Even the angels had the chance to choose. (76)

 

16. This strength we need and must learn from Jesus. That is why we need the Eucharist. See how the devil acted with Jesus. He went step by step; one temptation, then another. He failed, but he began again. That is why Jesus knew how much we need Him, and that is why we should pray. Watch the beginnings. Temptations---like temptations against purity when they come---are only there to help us reach a greater love for purity. Obedience is the protector of all the vows and virtues. That is why we make our vows according to obedience. The devil does not care what thing he tempts us to do as long as are not preoccupied with Jesus. (78-79)

 

17. One of the doorways to holiness is obedience. To be able to obey, we must be free. That is why we take a vow of poverty, having nothing. Jesus come down and was subject. We must go down in the depths of our hearts and see how to bring holiness into our society. (78)

 

18. Examine your poverty. Is it something joyful? Examine your obedience. Is your obedience total surrender? They are twins. Poverty is the sister and obedience is the brother. If you know poverty and obedience, you will love them. If you love them, you will keep them. (79)

 

19. Difficult, yes. It’s meant to be difficult. Jesus says: “If you want to be My disciples, pick up your cross and follow Me.” He doesn’t force us. He says, “if you want.” We are not the only ones that have to obey. Even taxi drivers have to obey. Red light, green light, that’s also obedience.

       I’ve never received so many graces as through obedience. You will receive many more graces if you surrender totally.

  Love for obedience is love for the will of God. (79)

 

20. Obedience well lived frees us from selfishness and pride and so it helps us to find God and, in Him, the whole world. Obedience is a special grace, and it produces unfailing peace, inward joy, and close union with God.

       Obedience transforms small, commonplace things and occupations into acts of living faith, and faith in action is love, and love in action is service of the loving God. Obedience lived with joy creates a living awareness of the presence of God, and so fidelity to acts of obedience become like drops of oil that keep the light of Jesus aflame in our life. (80)

 

The following passages are quotations of Mother Teresa from the book "Thirsting for God," compiled by Father Angelo D. Scolozzi.

 

1. JANUARY 14

Ask yourself: Is your love free? Is there total surrender to God in your life? Loving trust and total surrender complete each other. Jesus had unshakable trust in his Father. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed: “Father, if it is your will, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.” On Calvary, Jesus prayed: “Father, forgive them.”

This trust was the fruit of Jesus’ intimate knowledge and love of the Father. Jesus trusted his whole life and his mission into the hands of his Father. That is loving trust. Do we have that trust?

 

2. JANUARY 20

Give yourselves unswervingly to God. Conform yourselves in all things to his glory, to his holy will. Prompt, simple, blind, cheerful obedience to God is the proof of faith.

If God loves a cheerful giver, how much more does he not love an obedient giver? We must obey with our whole heart and soul, like Jesus. He obeyed unto death, even death on the cross.

 

3. FEBRUARY 2

We are at his disposal. If he wants us to be sick in bed, if he wants us to proclaim his word in the street, if he wants us to clean the toilets all day, that’s all right, everything is all right. We must say, “I belong to you. You can do whatever you like.” This is our strength and this is the joy of the Lord.

 

4.FEBUARY I2

Total surrender to God means to be entirely at the disposal of the Father just as Jesus and Mary were. This is not asking anything extraordinary: We give ourselves completely to him because he has given himself completely to us. God does not need to explain himself to us when we put ourselves entirely at his disposal.

We must ask ourselves: How have we given ourselves to God? How have we allowed God into our lives? What is our surrender to him?

 

5. FEBRUARY 23

We read in the gospel that Jesus said, “I have come to do the will of my Father.” We can apply this to ourselves for we have come to do the will of God. Jesus said, again and again, “Thy will be done,” and we say the same thing through our obedience to him.

Obedience is something spiritual since it is found also in heaven. Disobedience was the first sin. Lucifer refused to submit, refused to obey. This was true, too, for our first parents, Adam and Eve, who refused to obey and ate what was forbidden by God. When we disobey, it is a continuation of that first sin.

 

6. MARCH 22

It is not enough to say yes to God when he has called us for himself. It’s very important to put that yes into a living action. And how do we put that into a living action? By our total surrender to him. We understand that he has chosen us for himself—--all that follows is that we allow him to use us without consulting us.

We are human beings and we like to know exactly what he wants, how he wants, and so on. But if we really want to be only all for Jesus, it is important that we give him a free hand to do with us what he wants, as he wants. Only then can we really say we are only all for Jesus.

 

7. MARCH 27

All the evil in the world came through that first act of disobedience, the eating of that one apple. It is the same for us. One act of deliberate disobedience will bring lots of evil into our life.

Understand that God is calling you through obedience, even if he does not call you directly. In the Annunciation, God did not speak to Our Lady directly but through an angel. By doing what the angel said, Mary obeyed God. It is the same for us. God does not speak to us directly but through our superiors. They are instruments in his hands.

 

8.  APRIL 19

Christ obeyed because he loved his Father. He was equal to the Father but did not feel it was below his dignity to obey. He went to Nazareth with Mary and Joseph and was obedient to them. It was enough for Jesus that the Father had given authority to the high priest, to Herod, and to Pilate.

Much of the suffering inside and outside the church today is caused solely by a misunderstanding of freedom and renewal. We cannot be free unless we are able to surrender our will freely to the will of God. We must obey with full freedom in a spirit of unity and submission and through wholehearted free service to Christ in his distressing disguise.

 

9. APRIL 20

Obedience means total surrender and wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor. All the difficulties that come in our work are the result of disobedience. The obedience of the Little Flower, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, was beautiful and complete. She obeyed her superior even in things that might seem stupid—--but for God, nothing is stupid. The smaller the thing, the greater the love.

 

10. JUNE 6

A Jesuit priest told me about the time he was given a change of assignment. He spent the day on the train very happily moving to the new mission. When he got into the station, however, there was a telegram directing him to change trains and go to another mission. I asked him how he felt about that, if it was all right with him. He said that he accepted the change as the will of God, without question.

This is total surrender and complete obedience. When we belong to Jesus, he has the right to use us. Total surrender and complete obedience are the same thing.

 

11. JUNE 9

God calls us to obedience not to torture us but to open our hearts to hear the word of God spoken through another creature. Christ tenderly calls us to unite our will to his love. Therefore, when I obey, I am not alone. If you look at your superior, you see only your superior. But if you look above, you will see the Lord. Jesus said again and again, “I have come to do the will of my Father.” Your superior may be making a mistake in commanding you but if you say, “Be it done unto me according to your word,” then your obedi ence, your spirit of sacrifice, will protect you.

 

12. JUNE 20

Once, when 1 was traveling, I went from house to house for ten straight days. In the morning I would wake up and wonder, “Where am I?” It was a big sacrifice but joy came with that total surrender. Our total surrender consists in being completely available to God and to the church. Your superior can change your job and your companions, not due to personal likes but for the glory of God. You may be the only one in the house and so again, you clean the toilet. You must not kill your feelings when things like this happen but you must offer them as a sacrifice. This is the cross you have to bear.

 

13. SEPTEMBER 6

Once you begin to neglect obedience, one by one everything goes. It can happen to any one of us. Obedience is difficult but that’s where love comes from. There are so many broken families because a woman will not obey a man and a man will not obey a woman.

We belong to Jesus and obedience is our strength. You must do small acts of obedience with great love. Obedience is not a joke, it is a sacrifice. The more you love God, the more you will obey. Obedience is a cross—--pick up your cross and follow him. Everyone in the world has to obey in some way or another. People are forced to obey or they will lose their jobs. But we obey out of love for Jesus.

 

14. SEPTEMBER 8

Obedience, well lived, frees us from selfishness and pride and helps us to find God. In him, we find the whole world. Obedience is a special grace that produces unfailing peace, inward joy, and close union with God. Obedience lived with joy creates a deep awareness of his presence. Fidelity to obedience—constant, prompt, cheerful, undivided obedience—becomes like drops of oil that keep the light of Jesus living in our life. Our Lady will teach us how to obey like Jesus, who was obedient unto death.

 

15. OCTOBER 1

When St. Thérèse, the Little Flower, was dying, the other sisters wondered what the superior would write about her in the little life story the convent sent out upon the death of each nun. She seemed so simple, so ordinary. Thérèse heard these questions and they made her happy. She said to Jesus: “You have done great things with nothingness.” Thérese had done small things with great love, done ordinary things with extraordinary love, and Rome made her a saint for that.

In the convent where the Little Flower lived, there was an old nun who was impossible to please. She was always grumbling and so no one wanted to take care of her. The Little Flower, out of love for Jesus, volunteered to assist her. Every day, the litany of complaints began: “You are too slow” or “You are too fast” or “What are you doing? You will kill me. Can’t you go faster?” This elderly sister grumbled constantly but Thérèse obeyed her and did all she asked. The Little Flower’s obedience was beautiful and complete because she wanted to be all for Jesus, her crucified Jesus, her

spouse.

St. Bernadette entered the convent but her superior was jealous of her and asked: “Why did Our Lady choose to appear to you?” St. Bernadette never answered her superior rudely but obeyed her blindly. Nothing is foolish when done for God, out of love for

Jesus.

 

16. OCTOBER 12

Let Jesus use you without consulting you. Allow him to possess you so that you may possess him. But even in obedience, you have your will and God will not take your free will by force. He himself came to do the will of his Father and in Gethsemane, in spite of everything, said: “Not my will but yours be done.”

 

17. OCTOBER 17

What is the connection between prayer and obedience? Prayer will give us a clean heart, a clean heart will help us to see God, and if we see God, we will obey. The more we pray, the better we will pray and that will produce the fruit of a clean heart. Singing hymns with brief verses and talking to God is prayer.

 

18. NOVEMBER 10

You might be doing great good somewhere but if you are sent elsewhere, you must be ready to leave. The work belongs to Jesus, not to us. Obedience and humility are the same thing. If you want to know if you are humble, ask yourself “Do I obey because I see Christ in every command?” You can get used to poverty; but every act of obedience is an act of the will. It gets harder as we get older because we have our own ideas and resent advice and interference. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the grace of obedience.

 

19. NOVEMBER 18

Pray to know the will of God and to accept the will of God. We should do his will with obedience. Jesus did the will of his Father unto death on the cross. Mary chose obedience when she said, “Be it done unto me according to your word.” This obedience is the surest way to true holiness.

 

20. NOVEMBER 22

Obedience makes us most like Jesus and one with him. If we really obey, it is a constant crucifixion.

 

21. DECEMBER 16

If Mary and Joseph were looking for a place to make a home for Jesus, would they choose our home? In our community, does our life of poverty resemble that of the manger at Bethlehem? During this season of Advent, let us meditate on poverty so that we might love it and live it. To experience the joy and freedom of poverty as Jesus did we need the surrender of obedience, for that is the foundation of his love.   

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