The greatest good for man is to become conformable to the will of God.
Obedience is the virtue that grants one willingness to submit to lawful authority. When one obeys, one is “hearing” and one is accepting the authority. One is only obedient as one is humble, and can never be humble if one is not obedient. For obedience to be entire: it must be evident in three things: in its performance, in the will and in the judgments. It is evident in the performance when the superior’s orders are carried out. It is evident in the will when nothing is willed but what he wills. It is evident in the judgment when his opinion is the one held. The virtue of obedience is an exalted virtue, eminently reasonable; it is not the least servile or blind, but requires on the contrary the greatest freedom of spirit and the strongest discernment.
We realise that we must practice the virtue of obedience in the natural order: in the family milieu as children subject to parents, in the education environment as students subject to teachers, in the business world as employees subject to employers, and in the civil society as citizens subject to legitimate laws and leaders. Obedience arises out of a fundamental relationship in a community. It is a complex human act. It recognises authority as well as responds to that authority. It includes a mandate and also a compliance. The quality of the response of obedience may vary widely, depending on the receptivity of the respondent. Some obey out of duty, some out of force; some soberly after reflection, some recklessly out of thoughtlessness; some out of anger, and some out of love.
In 1855, a young girl, Farnier, who was lame, went to ARS to ask a miracle from John Marie Vianney.
“My daughter,” replied the saint, “ you disobey too often your mother and answer her back. If you want the Lord to heal you, you must correct your defects. And remember, you will get well but little by little according to your effort to correct your defects.”
She returned to her village and as she improved her ways her leg became normal.