An advertisement about hotels and airlines, urging, "Celebrate freedom of choice," captures the sentiment of our day. We value freedom—freedom from any interference that might inhibit choices that will shape or form me to be the person who I want to be. Many of our choices are not as freely made as we might like to think—given the world of advertising and the effects of media—and are driven by a "me-first" culture. We hear many voices urging us to be a particular kind of person: rich, famous, beautiful, independent, etc. We are urged to fill ourselves up in order to be happy, to look out for ourselves lest we lose out.
In the midst of all these voices, God also speaks; but God asks us, modeling our lives after his Son Jesus, to give of ourselves in service to others. Indeed, God’s voice also calls us to a life of happiness, but this life comes not by filling ourselves up, but by emptying ourselves. In so doing, we become hope-full, mercy-full, peace-full, joy-full, pray-full, fulfilled human beings.
At its heart, the vow of obedience is about listening—listening to God’s call in the midst of a community who can help us to hear and understand God’s voice in our lives. In vowing to obey the rule or constitutions that we follow, Resurrectionists believe that God’s way of living a fulfilled human life—in the midst of the many other ways that bear upon us—is revealed for them through the charism of our founders and all who have been given a share of this charism by the Holy Spirit. It is through this particular way, primarily by living the way of the paschal mystery—imitating in our lives the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus—that Resurrectionists find fulfillment. The vow of obedience asks us to trust that the voices of others, in leadership and in common life, can help us to hear God's voice more clearly and that by following our rule or constitutions is the way—contrary to what our world may hold—to a truly fulfilled human life.
Lives That Shaped Us
Father Benno Graf
Father Benno died in 1986. His early ministry was in teaching, at first in high school and then at Resurrection College teaching Latin classes for men preparing for the priesthood. He expected the best from students, but was always willing to lend a hand. In later years, he ministered at St. Joseph Parish on the Island of Bermuda.
Fr. Ray Hughes
served in the educational apostolate before moving to parish ministry. He has served in Florida and Jamaica as well as preaching on behalf of the missions.