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Merridith Frediani contemplates the faithful obedience we are called to by God.

I’ve been listening to the Catechism in a Year podcast with Fr. Mike Schmitz, which I highly recommend. First listen to the Bible in a Year and chase it with the Catechism in a Year. It will change your life. 

Recently we were reading paragraphs 142-149 of the Catechism, which discuss the obedience of faith. Obedience is a hard word for post-modern people because it implies submission and surrender, two things that seem to be anathema to our cultural narrative. 

God, however, is not so much concerned about the desires of our culture as he is about us as his individual sons and daughters. In paragraph 143, we read “By faith, man completely submits his intellect and his will to God.” Fr. Mike calls this volitional faith or saving faith. It is faith we choose; we choose to surrender ourselves fully to God. We offer him our self with our weaknesses, strengths, and questions. St. Paul, in his letter to the Romans, refers to this as the obedience of faith. 

We are given the example of Abraham and Mary, two faithful humans like us (although Mary was without sin) who stepped out in obedience to God. God asked big things of them and they, without knowing the greater plan or what the future would hold or why it was being asked, complied. Thanks to their obedience, the world was changed. We too are asked for this obedience and when we comply, beautiful things, both big and small happen. 

I learned this during what I refer to as the Great Wait. I spent a year—almost to the day—in a period of suspension when one door closed and I hung out in the hall for another to open. The consistent message in prayer was “wait.” Living with a question mark in my future was a challenge. God gave me the light to see only briefly ahead. When I tried to gaze too far into the future, I couldn’t see anything. When people asked what was next, I told them I didn’t know. 

I’d be lying if I said that, like Mary, I humbly offered myself as God’s handmaid and pondered these things. More truthful is that I sometimes kicked, screamed, raged, and cried. But when the wait was over and I had the grace of hindsight, I could see all the good that came from it and I learned to appreciate it. During that period, I was offered opportunities to write which eventually led to a contract for my first book. Had God told me He wanted me to write a book in the beginning, I would have been overwhelmed. How much less daunting it was to be gradually and gently led to it.




God knows us better than we know us, and when we are able to relax and let Him drive the car, He takes us exactly where we need to be—where we are happiest and most fulfilled—and He takes us by the perfect route even if it feels like we are slogging through the desert or slopping through a rainforest, all the while filled with discomfort and confusion. It is what we need and if we allow Him, He gives us the grace to see that. 

I learned from that experience and a few others like it that I can trust God’s plan and that I have a choice of how I engage with it. I can fight and bemoan my inability to see the road ahead or I can reframe it as something exciting—an adventure that I know will lead to something bigger than any plan I could hatch because our Almighty Father has big goodness in mind for us.


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The obedience of faith may sound oppressive and daunting on the surface, but it is instead the posture that leads to amazing, beautiful things. #CatholicMom


I would never have thought writing a book was possible for me. It seemed too large and too hard. God didn’t think that though and He made it happen after I surrendered. The obedience of faith may sound oppressive and daunting on the surface, but it is instead the posture that leads to amazing, beautiful things. We know this because in paragraph 1 of the Catechism we read,

God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness, freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life.


How glorious to be loved and cared for as we are by our Creator. He is so good.



Copyright 2023 Merridith Frediani
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