One of the books I am currently reading is St. Teresa of Avila’s “The Book of the Foundations”. After reading so many news stories and articles from dissidents it is so cleansing to read this great saint. The comparisons between modern pant suit nuns and this Doctor of the Church are hard not to notice, though the comparisons are more in the order of an antithesis.
If you read or hear a progressive religious sister use the word Mother – the following word is almost certainly to be Earth. St. Teresa of Avila though had no problems talking of Mother Church with devotion and love. The way she talks of obedience is also a joy to hear and that the only problems with obedience she encountered was with who own Nuns to take something to literally when it came to an instruction from an Abbess.
Obedience was rightly seen as being of high importance for anybody trying to grow in holiness. The type of obedience where answered immediately even if you were not totally onboard with what you were told to do. The type of obedience where you only do what you agree with is no obedience at all. Being in the military I learned this type of obedience which was often difficult when given an order by some junior officer that you knew was just plain stupid. Though obedience in the Church is also like obedience in the military in that in the military you have to obey a lawful order and that it is your duty go not obey an unlawful order.
Progressives seem to be proud of their disobedience. Recent National Catholic Reporter headline “144 theologians confront hierarchy” where German theologians demand women’s ordination etc. When it comes to the magisterium they describe it like it was the enemy and words like hierarchy are loaded with so much sneer they require a warning label from the Surgeon General. Yes, denying an infallible teaching of the ordinary magisterium is to be met as good news. The good news or Gospel of Dissent. Progressives talk of the conscience like the saints talked of Holy Obedience. Only problem is that following an improperly informed conscience is too much like obedience to your self-will. Informing your conscience and adhering to Mother Church gives you the opportunity to die to will and to be obedient to the truth.
Reading St Teresa of Avila I can find many ways that I can improve my own obedience like trusting more in Jesus. She tells several stories involving trust in Jesus where she was impressed by somebody else’s virtue in this regard compared to her own. It is so easy to worry about problems and not to place your trust in Jesus through prayer to help to resolve some issue and instead to worry about how you were personally going to fix it.