Obedience to the Magisterium is a virtue and is attained, with the
help of God's grace, through the practice of such obedience. When the
shepherds of the flock are obedient to the Magisterium, entrusted to
their exercise, then the members of the flock grow in obedience and
proceed, with Christ, along the way of salvation. If the shepherd is not
obedient, the flock easily gives way to confusion and error. The
shepherd must be especially attentive to the assaults of Satan who knows
that, if he can strike the shepherd, the work of scattering the flock
will be made easy.35
In his Encyclical Letter Fides et Ratio, "On the Relationship between Faith and Reason," Pope John Paul II reminded us that the Magisterium is bound strictly to Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, while, at the same time, Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture are handed on from one generation to the next through the obedience to the Magisterium. He declared:
The "supreme rule of her faith" derives from the unity which the Spirit has created between Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church in a reciprocity which means that none of the three can survive without the others.36The faith is living. The faith is received through the action of the Holy Spirit dwelling within the soul, and it is expressed by the purifying and strengthening action of the Holy Spirit Who inspires man to put the faith into practice.
The disposition of mind and heart to believe all that God has revealed to us and to do all that He asks of us is the obedience of faith. The obedience of faith is the fitting response to the revelation of God, which has its fullness in Our Lord Jesus Christ.37 Obedience to the Magisterium, the guardian and teacher of the faith, is the Fundamental disposition of the baptized and confirmed Catholic.38
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