Chapter 6:
Maxims of Obedience and Fidelity to Grace

Maxim 6:1
Be obedient to your superiors
"as to the Lord and not to humans."
These words of Saint Paul, rightly understood,
will bring you in a short time
to the perfection of obedience.

Maxim 6:2
To understand this Maxim better,
believe the truth that Providence
directs subjects through their superiors,
and by this guidance, brings them
to follow along the sure way
predestined for them.

Maxim 6:3
Convinced of this, you will obey without difficulty,
and you will not presume or oppose the orders
of those who take God's place on earth
and who command in his name,
lest you go aside from the path of your salvation.

Maxim 6:4
When you are given a command, obey faithfully,
joyfully and simply, and if possible
without the slightest thought of reluctance or refusal
and without interjecting a single word between the command and its execution.

Maxim 6:5
Be particularly diligent in carrying out commands
given by your superior or pertaining to your duties,
especially if they affect the good of the body
to which you belong or the welfare of the neighbour.
Notice how often
we put off doing the latter in order to do other things
that are less in the line of duty and more in accord
with our own inclinations and petty interests.

Maxim 6:6
If you are in religious life,
live content with the work
which obedience has assigned to you.
Carefully apply your mind and heart to it
without the slightest thought of change
until obedience appoints otherwise.

Maxim 6:7
Do not inquire what your superiors
have in mind for you.
Await their decisions with serenity and patience
as coming from the hand of God.
Desire that they be made known to you
only at the time God has appointed, and
do not be unduly eager to know them sooner.

Maxim 6:8
Obey faithfully the inspirations of grace.
There are few persons who give it full obedience.
Often they respond reluctantly
or negligently,
seldom accomplishing fully
the good God inspires them to do.

Maxim 6:9
Never go ahead of grace
through imprudent eagerness
but await its moment in peace,
and when it comes to you,
follow it with great gentleness and courage.
Once you have obeyed,
take care lest complacency rob you
of the fruit of your obedience.

Maxim 6:10
In order to come more surely to this fidelity,
weigh carefully the truth
that resistance to grace, no matter how slight,
is an amazing hindrance to God's blessing
both on our own spiritual progress,
and on our good works
which are directed to the promotion of God's glory
and the good of the neighbour.
What is strange is that a single act of infidelity to grace
has given a beginning to the eternal reprobation of many.
Let us be in fear and awe lest such a misfortune befall us.

Maxim 6:11
think of the losses that acts of infidelity to grace
have caused you.
If they were known to you, you would die of shame
and be unable to go on living for a moment.
Avoid such losses in the future
and make better use of the Holy Spirit's favours.

Maxim 6:12
The true motto of a person whom God deigns to use
for his glory or to whom God imparts his loving benediction
should be, in the words of Saint Paul:
"It is by God's grace that I am what I am",
in those of Saint Teresa, quoting the royal prophet:
"I will sing forever the mercies of the Lord."