A Year with the Saints – 14 June


That obedience may be complete, it must exist in three things: in execution, by doing promptly, cheerfully, and exactly whatever the Superior orders; in will, by willing nothing but what the Superior wills; in judgment, by being of the same opinion as the Superior. – Saint Ignatius Loyola

Whatever command was laid upon Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi, she accepted it always with a cheerful countenance, and executed it with promptness and exactness. And, what is more, she obeyed blindly, without stopping to inquire about the purpose and reason of the order, and whether that or something else would be better; for, as she said, she would not consider herself obedient, though she performed what was required, if she did not subject her own judgment to that of the Superioress. And so, when she received an order, she first applied herself to judge and feel as the Superioress judged and felt, then she inclined her will to desire what she desired; therefore, she found no difficulty in performing anything, whatever it might be. Once Our Lord ordered her to live on bread and water, to go barefooted, and to wear a single poor and patched garment; but as the Superioress did not consent to this, she put on stockings, shoes, and her ordinary dress, and ate the usual food, as far as she was able, until by an evident miracle God changed the will of the Superioress. By this she showed that she trusted more to the judgment of Superiors than to her own, or even to revelations.

The Abbot Silvanus loved one of his monks, named Marcus, with a special affection. When a person came one day to tell him that the others were much offended at this, he brought him to the cells of the monks, and called them, one after another, by name. All were slow in appearing, except Marcus, who instantly came out. The Abbot and his companion then entering his cell, found that he had been writing, and had left a letter half finished that he might not delay in answering the voice of his Superior. This proved to all how reasonable was the Abbot’s preference for him.

“I take for my model,” said Saint Francis de Sales, “the little Babe of Bethlehem, Who knew so much, could do so much, and allowed Himself to be managed without a word.”

MLA Citation