DON BOSCO DAY BY DAY
A steady obedience is the life of a religious congregation, its bond of unity. How much can be accomplished if many individuals unquestionably obey one person whose outlook is broader by virtue of his office, who sees things as a whole and knows what works and what has to be done, who can tell one man to stay where he is, to do something, to go, and he is immediately obeyed! More good can thus be done that could never be accomplished without unconditional obedience.
Obedience brings another great benefit. It enhances the merit of all we do, however menial. Take a person who can do little or nothing, but submits to obedience. His superior tells him to sweep or to cook, and that person can merit as much as one who strains himself all day in the pulpit or confessional or class room. This is one great advantage of obedience. Let each one patiently carry out his assignment, doing his best, with no thought to other things. The Lord is pleased with him and blesses him.
There is one more consideration which I want to bring to your attention today to tie together the first three: a well-made Exercise for a Happy Death. Once a month, for one day, let us honestly set things aside as far as possible, in order to put our souls in order. It will greatly help us to compare one month with another to see if we have gone forward or backward. Let us ask ourselves:
“How have I kept this or that virtue?”: Review especially whatever concerns vows and practices of piety. “How do I stand as regards obedience? Did I do better? Did I obey perfectly? For instance, did I properly supervise the boys entrusted to me? Did I prepare my lessons? As for poverty, am I at fault as regards clothing, food and lodging? Am I gluttonous? Did I complain when I had to do without certain things? Concerning chastity, did I harbor improper thoughts? Have I detached myself from undue parental love? Did I mortify my taste, glances, and so on?” Then, while examining your practices of piety, take particular note of routine lukewarmness. This self examination, long or short, must always be made. (BM XII, 332-333)
1. Obedience is the bond of unity.
2. Obedience enhances the merit of all I do.
3. Do this and you shall live!