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CHAP. X.

 

Pursues the same.

 

74. The Soul which is observant of holy Obedience, is, as St. Gregory says (3. Lib. in Job, Cap. 13.) Possessour of all Vertues: It is rewarded by God for its Humilty and Obedience, illustrating and teaching its own Guide, to whose direction it ought (as being in God’s place) to be every way subject, discovering freely, cleerly, faithfully and simply all the thoughts, all the works, inclinations, inspirations, and temptations that it knows of it self: In this manner the Devil cannot deceive it; and it becomes secure of giving an account of its actions to God without fear, as well those actions which it doth commit, as those it doth omit. Insomuch, that whoever would walk without a Guide, if he is not deceived, he is very near it, because, Temptation will seem Inspiration to him.

75. Thou oughtest to know, that to be perfect, it is not enough to obey and honour Superiours, but it is also necessary to obey and honour Inferiours.

76. Obedience therefore, to make it perfect, must be voluntary, pure, ready, chearful, internal, blind and persevering: Voluntary, without force and fear: Pure, without worldly interest and respect, or self love, but purely for God: Ready, without reply, excuse or delay: Chearful, without inward affliction, and with diligence: Internal, because it must not only be exterior and apparent, but from the mind and heart: Blind, without ones own judgment, but submitting that judgment with the will: to his that Commands it, without searching into the Intention, End, or Reason of the Obedience Persevering, with firmness and constancy unto Death.

77. Obedience (according to St. Bonaventure (tract. 8. Collationum) must be ready, without a delay; Devout with tyring, Voluntary without contradiction, Simple, without examination, Persevering without resting; Orderly without breaking off; Pleasant without trouble; Valiant without Faint-heartedness, and Universal without exception. Remember, O blessed Soul! That altho thou hast a mind to do the divine Will, with all diligence, thou wilt never find the way, but by the means of Obedience. When a man is resolved to be governed by himself, he is lost and deceived: Although the Soul have very profound signs, that it is a good Spirit that speaks to it; yet unless it submit to the judgment of the Spiritual Director, let it be esteemed an evil Spirit: So says Gerson, (Tract. de dist. verar. Num. 19.) and many other Masters of Spirit.

78. This Doctrine will be confirmed by that case of St. Teresa. The holy Mother, seeing that Lady Catherine of Cordona, led a life of great and rigid Penance in the Wilderness, resolved to imitate her, contrary to the judgment of her spiritual Father, who forbid her; Then the Lord told her (in her Life 366.) You must by no means do this, Daughter; the good way thou hast secure; thou seest all the Penance that Catherine doth, but I value more thy Obedience. She from that time forward, vowed to obey her spiritual Father: and in the 26th. Chapter of her Life, we read, that God often told her, that she must not omit to acquaint her spiritual Father with her whole Soul, and the graces that she had done her, and that she should always take care to obey him in everything.

79. Thou seest how God hath been willing to secure that heavenly and important Doctrine by the holy Scripture, the Saints, the Doctors, by Reasons, and by Examples, a purpose to root out altogether the deceits of the Enemy.

 

 

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