Obedience and Humility
This one concept was significantly responsible for the destruction of the Traditional Catholic Faith and the subsequent jeopardy of millions of Catholic souls.
It is the lack of understanding with regards to obedience that is at the heart of the problem. We must at all times obey valid authority. The Catholic Church hierarchy is based on this exact doctrine. At the same time we must disobey said authority if they try to make us sin. We must resist those in a position of authority if they try to contradict previous, universal or higher authority. We must also be sure of the legitimacy of those in authority. We are not bound to obey invalid authority. Likewise we are bound to disobey and rebuke those that prop themselves up illegitimately.
Because there is undoubtedly some personal judgment involved and some level of study, risk, and intellect needed, there will exist confusion, misapplication, tepidity, negligence, and uncertainty when determining whether or not to obey. Nevertheless we must remove all doubt to the best of our ability and understanding and cling to that which deem to be true, for the love of Truth itself. Too often our weak Faith and lack of the Love of God stand in the way of choosing rightly. It is only with a humble and contrite heart and devout prayer that one can find what one seeks. We will not be abandoned if we are sincere and strive to know the Truth.
If one obeys false authority without the ability to know better (inculpably), they will not be held accountable for their misplaced loyalty. If, however, the signs were there for their edification and understanding, but due to callousness, worldliness, or pride and arrogance, they were blinded from the truth, then they will be held accountable.
When doubt arises about the validity of authority, it is each Catholic’s duty to investigate until the doubt is removed. But how are we to judge those in authority? We must always measure current authority against traditional authority. Nothing that is new or innovative, or that contradicts previous infallible and timeless Catholic teaching can be accepted. These are some of the criteria that we can use to measure an individuals authority. We can also know them by their fruits. For good cannot beget evil, nor can evil beget good. Those in authority are always subject to an authority above them. Even the Pope must submit to a higher Authority. If we see those in authority disregarding higher authority or contradicting previous authority, then we have evidence that they represent false authority.
Humility is another very Holy Catholic virtue. It is the placing aside of one’s own “natural” attitude and replacing it with the attitude of humility, for the love of God. This is often very hard to do and contrary to the teaching of modern culture. We are told by society to value self esteem, quick wit and to defend our “rights’ against all attacks. They tell us that to be humble, submissive and meek are signs of weakness and those that practice these virtues will be taken advantage of.
We must resist this culture of evil and persist in our application of the teachings of the Church and the examples of our Blessed Mother and the Saints.
Children must be brought up practicing these virtues so that they will not be proud and so that their hearts will be receptive to servicing others and serving God. They will be less inclined to rebel against the Word of God and more inclined to live their lives for others and not for themselves. They will love the Church and their parents and they will be models of Catholic Faith.
The ways of God are not of this earth. Those that are proud or contrary or seeking revenge or speaking evil against their oppressors do not please our Heavenly Father. Many times by word and deed our Lord Jesus Christ gave us these mild virtues of meekness and humbleness as an example for us to live by and God’s expectation for us to abide by.
Blessed are the poor in spirit (humble) for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls.
But the hidden man of the heart in the incorruptibility of a quiet and a meek spirit, which is rich in the sight of God.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven.
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.
God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, being lovers of the brotherhood, merciful, modest, humble.
As Catholics we have to foster Humility and Meekness within our hearts and within the hearts of others. Not quick to anger or defense, but meekness with holy reservation in the knowledge that God knows and sees all, and will reward those that are unjustly treated yet endure their mistreatment with humility and meekness for the greater Glory of God.