At the wonderful moms group I used to attend at my former parish, our leader used to list off virtues at the beginning of every "Hail Mary" during our meeting prayers. She used to pray for "blind obedience". This always irked me. On the one hand I knew that blind obedience to God would be a virtuous thing, and I trusted the prayer of my friend and group leader. On the other hand, it stoked the fires of defense because "blind obedience" is often something Catholics are accused of. I think the accusation is mostly that of blind obedience to seemingly arbitrary rules that make no sense. While that is a topic for a discussion of freedom and license or Church authority, I want to address something else.
Part of me realized that the talons of "the liar" had gone so deep into my person that virtues had begun to irritate me for unknown reasons. I mean, the world's view of the Church had seeped in so deeply that something like "blind obedience" to God seemed threatening.
So here's the kicker, why shouldn't we be blindly obedient to God? What does that even mean? Have you ever had a parent or someone else ask you to do something without questioning it? Like, "Do first, ask questions later"? My boss at a former job used to ask this of all the employees. "Don't ask questions, just do it." My boss was amazing, so after the first two mistakes (I guess my knee-jerk-reaction is to ask questions when told to do something....) I finally trusted my boss and obeyed. My dad used to say things like "Just trust me!" all the time when I questioned him. If I can trust my boss, and my dad, shouldn't I be able to trust God?
Isn't that what blind obedience is? Trusting God? Isn't it just laying yourself at the mercy of the one who created you? Who gave his life in a bloody sacrifice for you? This is so hard to do. I feel like the world has taken that ability to trust with abandon from me to some extent. I suppose that is part of the scar of Original sin. I'm sure I'd know more about this had I a theology degree or something, but this has just been kicking around in my head lately. I wonder how many other areas in my soul have now been sneakily made suspicious of God through my intake of "the world."
The title of today's blog post comes from the Divine Office for today. I suppose it's part of the psalms that I need to pray more often. "Lord, kindle a light for my guidance and scatter my darkness." Sometimes we have darkness that lays undiscovered.
Lord scatter the darkness I have yet to find, that you can see in your infinite vision. Amen.
As a sidenote, I know that blind obedience to anything isn't a virtue. This goes along with our 1st commandment. "I am the Lord, thy God, thou shalt not have other gods besides me." Our trust should lay with God alone and with everything he gives us and shows us. "Put no trust in princes". We humans wreak all sorts of havoc without God's guidance, so in general I will continue to question everything but God.
See? Meandering. Hopefully somewhat useful.
My friend on fb mentioned that it seems strange to call it blind obedience if we have a relationship with the Lord. Here's my take on it straight from the facebook thread.
"I think this is probably the key. We can have full trust in God and our relationship with him and still be blindly obedient. I may not see, but I can still trust in my God. I suppose the two are not mutually exclusive. Blindness in this sense doesn't mean that you don't have a relationship, it means that you just don't see what's ahead. So you obey, even though you don't know why, and still trust. That makes sense when we think about the trust walk and the blindfold right? Isn't it a wonderful testament to our spirit/body state that I have to recall a physical experience to make sense of spiritual thoughts?! "
I also found out that the virtue of Blind Obedience is one of the 10 virtues of Mary from St. Louis Marie de Montfort's.