SEPTEMBER

 

OBEDIENCE

 

September 1:  Obedience is the most difficult of all virtues because to be obedient an entire abnegation of self is necessary.

 

            2:  There are two things, dear Sisters, which make a soul advance with giant strides along the way of perfection --- Humility and Obedience.

 

            3:  You must let yourselves be fashioned and trained by those in authority over you, just as a stone fresh cut from the quarry is fashioned by a sculptor.

 

            4:  There is one point to which I specially beg you to pay attention, dear Sisters.  It is to respect one another, and to yield by obeying one another.  When I hear a Sister saying:  “If Sister Superior tells me such a thing, I will obey, of course” --- I say to myself, “That Sister is a long way off perfection yet.”  If you get into a habit of acting like this you will soon fail in obedience, even to your superior.

 

            5:  My daughters, if you are not obedient, even should you work miracles, I should think nothing of it.

 

            6:  To pick up a single straw through obedience is of more merit in God’s sight than to discipline yourself from morning till night, merely to satisfy your own will.

 

            7:  Religious obedience has one great advantage.  At the Day of Judgment, if God says to you:  “Why did you do such a thing?”  You need only answer, “Lord, I did what my Superior desired me to do,” and all will be right.  God will accept your explanation.  Well, dear Sisters, is not that a consolation and an encouragement?

           

            8:  Mary is our loving Mother:  let us deserve to be called her children, her dear daughters, by imitating her virtues, especially her surrender of herself into the hands of God in all that happened to her.

 

            9:  A Sister of Notre Dame who is perfectly obedient is a soul of prayer.  She sheds over all the community a delicious perfume -- the good odor of Jesus Christ, her divine Spouse.

 

            10:  There is no martyrdom more glorious than that of obedience.  It is a sign God loves a soul very much when He calls her to this.

 

            11:  It is not enough merely to obey well.  If you do not see God in your Superior, your obedience will have little merit in the sight of God.

 

            12:  My dear daughters, think seriously on the holy engagements you have contracted by the vow of obedience.  You promised Almighty God to have no other will than His:  and His will is always made known to you through your Superiors.

 

            13:  Let there be no more of those habits of reasoning about things, no more critical judgments:  “Why do they make me do such a thing?”  “It would be much better to give that to someone else to do.”  So speaks self-love.  But what says the simple and truly obedient soul?  “It is God who speaks, I have nothing to do but obey.”

 

            14:  When obedience is difficult say:  “What did my Divine Master do when He foresaw all the sufferings that awaited Him?  Did they prevent Him from accomplishing the will of His Heavenly Father?  No.  Very well, my soul, was it not just in order to merit for me the grace of overcoming this difficulty that He suffered so much?  Be not afraid then.  Trust in Him, you can never do too much for so good a Master.”

 

            15:  Try, my dear daughters, in all your actions, however trivial they may be, to perform them through a spirit of obedience.  Say to yourselves constantly, “I am going to eat through obedience, I am going to rest through obedience,  and so of the rest.  You can hardly form an idea of how pleasing this is to God.

 

            16:  You must be in the hands of your Superiors as paint-brushes in the hands of a painter, ready for every color and every tint.

 

            17:  Simplicity of heart is a great means of acquiring that blind obedience which has made so many holy religious, and which will make saints of Sisters of Notre Dame.

 

            18:  The measure of our obedience is the measure of the glory we give to God, as well as the measure of the good we do to souls.  Without it we should do but barren work, even if we devoted ourselves up to the moment of death.

 

            19:  Our Lord only accepts from His spouses works done by obedience.  This is particularly true of Sisters of Notre Dame:  everything else counts as nothing.

           

            20:  Be well convinced, my dear daughters, that if you wish to be true Religious, and good Sisters of Notre Dame, your obedience must be animated with a spirit of faith and of religion.

 

            21:  Be victims of holy obedience; if you are not daughters of obedience you will not be God’s daughters nor mine.

 

            22:  We ought to strive to reproduce our Holy Rule in our daily life -- to be living rules.  We must lose ourselves in holy obedience, saying with our Lord “I do always the things which please Him.”  We always please God when we obey our Superiors, interiorly and exteriorly, for they are the mouthpiece of God in our regard.

 

            23:  It is obedience which makes us religious.  We must obey to the letter, to the very letter --- otherwise each one would act as she liked.

 

            24:  Courage, obedience works miracles.  Sisters of Notre Dame should know that they are good for nothing and capable of everything according as holy obedience sets them aside or employs them.  The good God has no need of any of us, can we doubt it?  Ah, no, my God -- Thou hast need of no one, except of the one chosen by Thy Divine Providence for this post or that, in order that God may be glorified.  If we think otherwise, we are much to be pitied.

 

            25:  God will do great things with our little Institute, if He finds there souls strong in the obedience of faith and abject in their own eyes.

 

            26:  Our manner of life is the closest imitation of that of our Lord.  The Gospel tells us “He was subject” to Our Lady for thirty years, and shows Him to us, further on, obedient even to the death of the cross.

 

            27:  To be really obedient we must labor unceasingly to die to our own judgment, allowing ourselves no reflections on our Superior’s order, so as to have but one and the same will with her.

 

            28:  Anyone who withdraws herself from obedience withdraws herself from grace, but an obedient soul who, in a spirit of faith, sacrifices her own will, becomes in a short time the object of divine predilection, and makes rapid progress in sanctity.

 

            29:  An obedient soul never goes to Hell, for obedience prevents our being deceived by the devil, and gives us the most consoling assurance which we can have here below -- namely, that we are doing God’s Holy Will.

 

            30:  Our obedience must be entire, courageous and great hearted, immolating unreservedly our will, our heart and our judgment.  We must love the orders of obedience as coming from God, for, in whatever way God comes to us, He must always be welcome.