what obedience really means

I was reading an article by Sandra Schneiders, IHM for our vows discussion group tomorrow, and came across this quote. I thought some might find it interesting in light of my last post. For me it really pinpoints how I understand the vow of obedience:
If, in the past, obedience has been understood as submission or compliance, perhaps today it is better understood as responsible participation and whole-hearted cooperation. To cooperate is to work together. Religious Life is a working together in the Spirit of all the members in the construction of their life and the effecting of their mission. By vowing obedience every member commits her or himself to that enterprise, in season and out of season, when convenient and inconvenient, when one's own ideas and projects prevail and when they do not. To vow obedience is to commit oneself to participate in the process of discernment and in the work of embodying the fruits of discernment in life and mission. To stay at the table of discernment, to come back from temporary disillusionment, dismay or even despair, to speak with courage and listen with vulnerability, to respond responsibly to decisions flowing from communal discernment and/or articulated by legitiate authority are all part of obedience.
-Sandra Schneiders, IHM, "Religious Life in the Future."


grace said...

if i ever took/take vows. obedience would be the hardest for me.

Anonymous said...

Amen to both posts from this date, Susan. In fact, reading them became a springboard for some of my own thoughts, which I first shared with my vocation and formation director via email, and then decided to post to the blog as well.

Susan Rose, CSJP said...

Grace - while obedience is hard for me to wrap my head around, my heart seem to find a lot of freedom in it. A paradox to be sure.

Natty - thanks for continuing the conversation!

Anonymous said...

I think you are reading the wrong books.
Paul Miki