Traditional Catholic Duties 2 Obedience

Continuation of the duties of all Catholic Christians toward God’s Holy Church as well as the secular society using primarily the writings of St. Peter Julian Eymard.

St._Peter's_Basilica_Rome_ItalyObedience. – Every Christian owes to the Supreme Head of the Church, in that which concerns his divine mission, an obedience when it comes to his governing of the Church and teaching the 2000 year old Catholic faith.  If not, there is the risk of becoming guilty of rebellion or of heresy: “if he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican.” (Matt. 18:17).

Even when against civil rulings (which in such cases have neither authority nor jurisdiction) the Christian owes filial obedience to Canon Law, to the Papal Bulls, to the decrees and decisions of the Holy Roman Church, which are but the voice, the law, the teaching office of the Sovereign Pontiff. This holds true even in cases when civil laws may oppose ecclesial ones (in such cases the secular authority acts unjustly and therefore those particular precepts have neither authority nor jurisdiction).

The obedient Christian goes beyond the letter of the law and of authority. He considers the intention of the legislator,  whose counsels are orders. He wants in all things to think, speak, and act as his fathers in the Faith have always thought, spoken, and acted.

This same obedience is also rendered to the Bishop as the Shepherd closest to us, when he transmits, in all their purity and genuineness, the teachings of the Church, the infallible word of Peter; who keeps watch over the deposit of Faith, the integrity of morals, and the strict observance of the divine and ecclesiastical laws; and who holds the powers to legislate and teach in matters of doctrine and morals.

We owe again this same obedience to our immediate Pastor in the discharge of his pastoral office. The Bishop and the Pope, obedient to God, are to govern us through him. He has to give God an account of all the souls entrusted to him. The faithful sheep of the fold follow their Pastor; they know his voice and they obey him.  

p_download_bodypart.aspAssistance. A child owes assistance to his aging or needy parents; the honorable son not only recognizes this grave duty, but delights in it. He finds order and happiness in fulfilling this duty. The Christian owes assistance to the priest of Jesus Christ, his father in the Faith, and the minister of the Most Holy Eucharist. Christian sentiment would revolt at the mere thought of a Pastor’s not having even the bread of charity and the assistance usually given to the needy.

The faithful, however, should assist their pastor especially in their works of zeal for the salvation of souls, in what concerns the decorum and dignity of the articles of worship and in the Christ-like care of the sick. Insofar as their state of life permits and within the sphere of their legitimate influence, the faithful also assist the Church in the propagation and defense of the one true Faith and all of the Church’s venerable and holy Tradition. These works, under the direction and the grace of the priesthood, are truly apostolic and consistently productive of good.

The ungodly pool their strength for evil purposes; the good should do as much for sacred purposes. To the associations of evil men who are becoming so powerful, we must oppose with the associations of faithful souls. An isolated effort for good is too weak, and it dies out with the one that starts it. 

But to which works should we devote ourselves in preference to others? To Catholic works, to those which have the approval of the Church, and which the priesthood inspires and blesses; for error can easily creep in under cover of pious works, and even disguise itself as piety. When confronted with a work, we must first look into its legitimacy, whether it comes from the Church, whether it is faith-inspired, and whether its end, and the means employed, are truly Christian. A work that is only human or philanthropic, that limits itself to the body, to matters of this world only, is a work for a philosopher or a humanist, but not for a Christian.

But among works, we must devote ourselves more to those that give greater glory to God, that have as their direct object the honoring of His divine Persons, the exaltation and recognition of the rights of His kingship. For the divine Head of the Church must have in everything the first-fruits of our service and devotion.

BESIDES HIS DUTIES toward His Majesty, Jesus Christ, towards Christ’s blessed Mother, the ever Virgin Mary, and towards Christ’s Spouse, the Church, the faithful Catholic has obligations toward “the least of Christ’s brethren,” that is, his fellow men and the society of which he is a part. As a member of a family, he has common duties to fulfill; as a member of society, he has relations to maintain; as a citizen, he has laws to obey.