Better to Obey God than Man

 

“St. Peter Preaching” Masolino da Panicale in 1426-27

“St. Peter Preaching” Masolino da Panicale in 1426-27

During these days following the Church’s greatest feast day in the Liturgical year, Easter Sunday, the celebration of Our Lord’s victory over death and sin, the daily first readings at Mass have been centred on St. Peter and the Apostles’ bold and joyful preaching of what they had “seen and heard”. How inspiring it is to hear every year at this time after Easter, the works of these first “bishops” of the Church!  They were threatened, punished, imprisoned and eventually tortured and put to death, but filled with the Holy Spirit they were fearless in their unquenchable joy that the sting of death had been conquered by the Supreme Sacrifice of their Loving Saviour, and in the firm knowledge that their one duty now was to obey the Son of God before any Man in spreading the Gospel to the four end of the Earth: “Go ye therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19).

The Church had been born, and She would continue in her mission to bring the unadulterated Truth to her members, till the end of the world.

“For this was I born and for this came I into the world: that I should give testimony to the truth. Everyone that is of truth, heareth My voice.” (Jn 23:37) “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn 8:32)

This “truth” has been seriously challenged at times during the 2.000 years of the Church’s trajectory to this day – leading to heresies, schisms and revolts – causing at most some ‘indents’ in the number of her followers, but she continues to preach the wholeness of Truth in sharp contradiction to the ‘spirit of the world’ as she grows and expands in her mission to win souls for Christ.

Ven. Mother Louise Margaret de la Touche (1868-1915) describes the meaning of truth well when she says: “The truth of God is immutable and cannot change. Holy Church possesses it in its entirety. If among the events and the vicissitudes of time it seems to change, it is only an appearance. The human intellect, according as it is more or less pure, grasps its meaning more or less clearly. Truth can increase and develop, or on the contrary, it can dwindle away in the intellect of man, but in itself, it is one and unchangeable. It can make itself more precise, it can be more firmly established, it can be defined and explained, and that is the justification of the slow but incessant development of the truths taught by the Church. Really new truths, especially truths in contradiction with the original truth, cannot exist.”

We could ask ourselves nowadays: do all our bishops and priests preach this Truth in its fullness? Are they too fearless and faithful to Our Blessed Lord’s command in the same way as St. Peter and the Apostles were? And if not, why not? Could it be that they fear the opinions of Man more than God?

But the same goes for all of us: are we not all called to spread the fullness of our Glorious Faith (i.e. not leaving out the ‘harder truths’)  according to our possibilities – especially in living as faithful witnesses to Christ and His Church – in whatever our situation in life might be? Our new saint, Pope John Paul II has urged us: “To each person, whatever his condition, even if it were the most complicated and dramatic, the Risen One repeats: “Fear not!”; I died on the Cross but now “I am alive for evermore”; “I am the first and the last, and the living one”.”

Finally, please listen to this 7 minute homily by Fr. Elias, FI, on how we must choose to obey God if a command from human authority contradicts a commandment from God, following the example of the Apostles when they were told by the Sanhedrin to stop preaching about Jesus.

 

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11 Responses to Better to Obey God than Man

  1. Roger says:

    The St Vincent Ferrer Sermons cast us back to the Fathers of the Church and their Faith is Our Faith. The Apostles had the Truth from the Word Made Flesh.
    Mother Louise Margaret de la Touche Excellent she is just repeating exactly this Truth.
    We have to Seek First the Kingdom of Heaven and it is keeping Our spiritual eyes and lamps burning.
    But as the past shows and in ever age there is this Satanic pressure to reverse the Passion and land Man back in the Pagan Godless Society with the doors to Heaven Locked!
    Make no mistake as Dante and his contemporaries understood be it prelate or otherwise do not accept any doctrine contrary to Christs.

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  2. Maggie says:

    I think the SSPX also says it must obey God rather than man…

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  3. GC says:

    Dear Kathleen, I think the Acts of the Apostles in the passages you mention tell us exactly how God’s Spirit was at work on the Earth in the days and weeks after the Resurrection. It was active in such a way that man’s governments and laws scarcely rate a mention, and rightly so.

    I think it’s hardly surprising that today also our governments and laws are in many ways irrelevant to what really matters, but are designed for a miasmic world populated by Toads and other toad-like critters.

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  4. Toadspittle says:

    Governments don’t seem to consider Toad much, when designing things.
    It may be miasmic where GC lives,* but it’s not round here.
    Open fields for miles in all directions, fresh air and almost total silence. (Except when the dogs see a rabbit.)
    …Still, Aunty – if I might affectionately call her that – GC knows best.

    “God’s Spirit was at work on the Earth in the days and weeks after the Resurrection. It was active in such a way that man’s governments and laws scarcely rate a mention, and rightly so.”
    Three cheers for David Cameron, then!
    Doubtless the unmentionable governments just went on governing unmentioned, anyway.

    *Fearfully fond of smoking, the natives, I gather.

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  5. GC says:

    And let’s go into the courtyard, Ethel, and have a nice cup of tea.

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  6. Toadspittle says:

    …It was nice cups of tea that got us through the Blitz.

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  7. Toadspittle says:

    “Better to Obey God than Man”

    A sentiment echoed, no doubt daily, by every devout Muslim, Druid, Hindu, Mormon, Muggletonian and Quivering Brethren.

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  8. Roger says:

    I think that during that period from the Resurrection onwards then Heaven poured its Graces and Blessings in abundance on the embryonic Church. The change in the Apostles was more than just the Outpouring of the Holy Ghost. They went on to embrace martydom.

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  9. Toadspittle says:

    “…new truths, especially truths in contradiction with the original truth, cannot exist.”
    …Wonderful bit of idiocy.

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  10. Tom Fisher says:

    I think the Acts of the Apostles in the passages you mention tell us exactly how God’s Spirit was at work on the Earth in the days and weeks after the Resurrection. It was active in such a way that man’s governments and laws scarcely rate a mention, and rightly so.

    Really?? The last time I read Acts the interaction between the early Church and the Roman and Jewish authorities was one of the central themes of the narrative!!

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  11. GC says:

    I think the “operative words” there are in the passages you mention , Tom Fisher. Of course, elsewhere in Acts we read of St Paul’s ill-use by the authorities and suchlike.

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