Satan fighting with Jesus

The lack of obedience has wreaked havoc even before the creation of the world, as well as in the beginning of the world!  How?   A multitude of Heavenly Hosts---pure spirits that we call angels—willfully decided to disobey God’s command. Lucifer or Satan started it all by lifting up his clarion voice of defiance: “Non serviam!”-- I will not serve!  In other words:  I will not OBEY!

This elicited the battle in heaven, presided over by Michael, the Prince of the Heavenly Hosts.   The battle ensued and the good angels prevailed winning the battle through the power and grace of God.

Adam and Eve disobeying
ADAM AND EVE.  Our first parents, Adam and Eve, similar to the angels had to pass a test of obedience. This time it was simply to avoid touching the tree and its fruits in the middle of the Garden, the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Like Satan and his minions, Adam and Eve followed their own whims and disobeyed by eating of the forbidden fruit.   This we call Original Sin, the first of all sins of the human race.

This act of disobedience was like a moral Tsunami that spread its influence throughout all times, places, cultures, nations, continents, the world at large until the day of the Final Judgment, the end of the world. All are born with Original Sin and experience its morally as well as physically decaying influence.  Concupiscence tugs us morally toward the mud puddle and swamp of sinfulness and the body eventually decomposes resulting in eventual death!

Saul disobeyed God
SAUL.    The mighty and powerful warrior Saul disobeyed God through the dictates of the prophet Samuel by not destroying all of the spoils of the Amalekites in his military victory.  Powerful in word, the prophet Samuel rebuked Saul and warned him that God had now left him!   How scary—to be abandoned by God! But really it was Saul who first left God through his willful disobedience.(Read I Samuel 15:16-23).

THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT AND OBEDIENCE.  The whole concept of obedience extends to the fourth commandment of the Decalogue: “You shall honor your father and your mother.”  In children’s Mass, with children and parents both present, I frequently ask the questions to the children:  Have you ever heard the voice of God in your life?” Normally there is a surprised silence!  Children were never asked this question!   Then I rifle them with these words of command very familiar to their ears!  “Get up it is time to go to school!  Turn off the TV/computer, it is time to eat!  Come now, it is time to pray the Rosary!   Please take out the trash and throw it in the dumpster!  Right now stop fighting with your sister! Make your bed and clean your room!  Get in the car right now, we are going to Mass! Set the table for dinner!  Clean off the table and put the dishes in the dish-washer!   Go in your room and do your homework, now!”   All of these commands and many more, issued from the mouth of Mom and Dad, are clear manifestations of God’s voice to children and should be obeyed immediately and without complaint!

Indeed God does speak through lawful authority and through His commandments!   God also speaks through the Church, the Magisterium and the Holy Father who is the Vicar of Christ.   The voice of God can be heard clearly through one’s Spiritual Director and Confessor.   Furthermore, God’s voice can be expressed by Teachers, Catechists, and priests in their legitimate roles of authority.   These voices, which truly represent the voice of God, should be heeded and obeyed with humility.

Once a foreigner came to visit the United States of America and he made an acute observation:  “How interesting it is that in the United States the parents obey the commands of the children!”  What a powerful and astute observation and gentle rebuke for parents and children in this country!

Three short comments by way of exhortation to children, teens and young adults!

I will not obey!
1. OBEDIENCE TO PARENTS!   The young must humbly recognize that God has given them life through the instrumentality of their parents.   They must have the eyes of faith and humility of heart to recognize God’s voice is expressed through their parents.  Without obedience the totality of the spiritual life comes to a quick halt; it is paralyzed!   The best of examples is Jesus Himself.  After being found in the temple after three days of sorrowful search the Evangelist highlights that Jesus was obedient to them and He grew in wisdom, age and grace before God and man. Even in the Garden of Olives, immersed in a dreadful and mortal agony, Jesus said three times:  “Father not my will but yours be done!”   The most famous prayer in the world, The Our Father, we pray: “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Me? Obey? Never!!!!
2. READ SIRACH 3: 1-16.   In the Bible, this passage is one of the best on the theme of the duty of children toward their parents, specifically in  terms of respect, love and obedience!  Read and meditate just a few key passages!

“Children, pay heed to a father’s right; do so that you may live. For the Lord sets a father in honor over his children; a mother’s authority he confirms over her sons. He who honors his father atones for his sins; he stores up riches who reveres his mother. He who honors his father is gladdened by children, and when he prays he is heard. He who reveres his father will live a long life; he who obeys the Lord who brings comfort to his mother.” (Sirach 3:1-6)  Read the following ten verses!  Meditate and ponder them in your heart!

There can be no shadow of doubt that upon reading prayerfully this short but powerful verse children and teens will be convicted that it is their moral duty to see the presence of God in their parents and humbly submit to them in obedience of mind, heart, will and action!

Forced obedience!
3. JOYFUL OBEDIENCE.    There are various ways that one can carry out an order of obedience. One way is forced obedience!   A child may say “yes” to obedience, but carry it out like a terrorist!  A long scowl on his face, murderous threats beneath his breath, curse words uttered behind the back of his parents, loud and boisterous slamming of plates when he is ordered to set the table!  This rebellious and defiant attitude destroys the obedience. How should it be done? For love of God, promptly, quickly, joyfully, orderly, lovingly and permeated with gentleness and kindness. Before the eyes of God--- God sees all even the secret intentions of our hearts--- this noble attitude pleases an all-loving God immensely!   May the Blessed Virgin Mary who obeyed God by her consent, “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word”, inspire children and teens to learn that obedience is not slavery but the true freedom of the children of God.”