Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fr. Jack and Obedience

My late Spiritual Director Fr. Jack Fullen was a wise and holy man and I was blessed to receive many lessons on spirituality and living our lives in obedience.  In March after taking him out for what would be his last trip to the House of Mercy, I brought him back to his house and got him situated in his house and bowed my head to receive his parting blessing.  Afterwards I asked him when I could come back over to have some spiritual direction and he said that he was booked up for the next week doing his daily physical therapy and exercises at the house and he would be too tired to work with me.  I jokingly suggested that he forget the exercise at his house and instead relax.  He reprimanded me rather curtly that he had been ordered by his doctor to do this for his health and he was not going to shirk on his duty, no matter how sick he felt, he was acting in total obedience.

I marveled at his courage and total submission to the will of God.  I went home with this on my mind and realized that he had just given me one of his greatest lessons, Obedience!  Here was a man that suffered daily, felt awful all the time, and could do what most of us do - disobey the doctors orders to suit our own well being.  However he did not do any of that, instead he did his exercises daily and tried his best to recover and live a normal life again.  In the end, that was not the will of God.

I remember a saintly Monsignor from my childhood, he was on Dialysis for the last 10 years of his life and the doctors told him that he could only drink 16oz of water a day and only eat so much.  He measured out his drink and food for each day, he was completely obedient to everything his doctors asked of him and he never complained about anything.  Fr. Jack and Monsignor Duncan both constantly carried the words upon their lips 'Thy Will be Done'.  

Let us pray today and ask God to teach us how to be Obedient to his will and that of our superiors.

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