Friday, November 5, 2010

Of Perfect Obedience

Day 5
Admonition 3.a
Of Perfect Obedience

 The Lord says in the Gospels “…no one can be my disciple unless they relinquish everything they own...Luke 14:33” And again “… unless you surrender your lives to me you will lose them…Luke 9:24”
Those who relinquish everything they possess  for the sake of Christ and offer themselves in complete obedience to a Superior, lose both body and soul; and whoever says and does what they know is not contrary to their Superior’s desire is truly obedient, (and shall save their lives.)
If at any time a subject sees things that are better or more useful to their life than what their Superior commands them let them sacrifice those desires to God. Let them strive to fulfil the work given them to do by their Superior for this is true and charitable obedience, pleasing to both God and neighbour.

As is my custom I apply my little Latin against another translation to arrive at a unique English translation for the public Domain – this one is clumsy especially in the second paragraph where Francis attempts to say too much.
Here is Pascal Robinson’s “That man leaves all he possesses and loses his body and his soul who abandons himself wholly to obedience  in the hands of his superior, and whatever he does and says—provided he himself knows that what he does is good and not contrary to his [the superior’s] will—is true obedience.
Be the judge of whether or not I have made it more obscure than he
The Writings of Saint Francis of Assisi, newly translated into English with an Introduction and Notes by Father Paschal Robinson (Philadelphia: The Dolphin Press,1906).
According to the Office of the EFO the Admonitions are divided to give us 31 portions, so for the 5th of any month Admonition 3 part one is given for meditation.
It is Francis, custom to begin his Admonitions with words to the effect of “The Lord says” and once he has cited what the Lord says Francis then explains the Gospel words as they apply to those living as Friars.
Giving up all our worldly goods for Jesus sake is like putting our trust in a Superior in religion,  trusting involves letting go of, relinquishing, ceding, our lives to another, in this case to the Superior who stands in the place of Christ to us.
Living a life obedient to our Superior, saying and doing on their behalf everything we know is according to their desire is to be truly obedient as to God and in doing so we shall save our lives. Furthermore true obedience, self-sacrifice involves giving up our concept of whatever might be better or more useful to our spiritual development in order to better devote ourselves to being true servants of God. This kind of obedience shows love as is pleasing to both God and our fellow humans.

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