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Posts Tagged ‘obedience’

Heroic Obedience

Maybe some of you watched EWTN’s presentation last night on St. Teresa of Avila. Although I’d seen it before, it still has a powerful effect on me spiritually as I reflect on St. Theresa’s vow of obedience to Father Gracian, who was rather young and had little experience in mystical graces.

In sharp contradiction to Our Lord’s command to her to make a foundation in Madrid, he set it aside and ordered her to found in Seville, even though she had voiced her strong objections. His comment was that one ought not to rely on supernatural communications, lest one be deceived. When Teresa brought this back to Jesus in prayer, He told her to obey, but He would hold Gracian responsible for the outcome. As we read in accounts of her life and will note in the film next week, that was a disastrous error of this priest which cost the nuns extraordinary suffering. We might wonder why Gracian disregarded the eminent sanctity of St. Teresa and failed to take the matter into prayer to ascertain God’s will.

Coincidentally, this morning at mass, we heard the reading from Hebrews about the weaknesses of the high priests, who themselves were not exempt from personal sins and the necessity to offer sacrifices also for themselves.  

I just shudder as I considered this episode in her life, and am in awe that Teresa paid such a heavy price in the name of obedience. If there is a single trait that proves the holiness of a person, I would believe that obedience to superiors  is foremost in the person’s virtues.   St. Teresa of Avila, pray for us!

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