A Year with the Saints – 1 June


We all have a natural inclination to command, and a great aversion to obey; and yet, it is certain that it is more to our advantage to obey than to command. It is for this reason that perfect souls have so great an affection for obedience, and find in it all their delight.

These are the words of Saint Francis de Sales, and in fact this Saint exercised himself much in this virtue, although he was a Bishop and Superior of so many houses. He even obeyed his chamberlain in regard to rising and retiring to rest, dressing and undressing, as if he had been the servant instead of the master.

Saint Teresa often said: “One of the greatest graces for which I feel bound to thank Our Lord is that His Divine Majesty has given me a desire to be obedient; since in this virtue I experience the greatest consolation and content, as the one which Our Lord enjoined upon us more than any other; and therefore I desire to possess it more than anything else in the world.”

Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi had so great a love for obedience that even though a command might be very difficult to execute, or her weariness extreme, she never appeared reluctant or showed the least sign of discontent, but accepted everything with a cheerful countenance, as if the most agreeable proposal had been made to her. It even occurred to her to doubt of her own merit in obeying, on account of the great ease and delight which she experienced in it. But she did not content herself with submission to her Superioress. Of her own accord, she subjected herself also to her companions, and even to her inferiors. With this intention she chose one of her Sisters, whose permission she asked for even the most minute things which she desired or found it necessary to do, and obeyed her in everything in spite of all difficulties. If she could not have access to this particular Sister, she would ask the permission of some other; and whoever was her companion in any employment, she always yielded precedence to her, and followed her plans and methods.

MLA Citation