Christ came to do the will of the Father. Out of obedience to him, he was willing to serve and give his life as a ransom for many (Jn 6:38; Mt 20:28) We know that he is the one Lord and Master over us. Among ourselves we consider one another as brothers (Mt 23:8).
Following the example of Christ, we constantly try to discover the will of God and to fulfill it in obedient love. God makes his will known in various ways: through the signs of the times, the needs of people, individual confreres, the community, and, above all, through the Church and our superiors.
The vow of obedience obliges us: - to observe the Constitutions faithfully;
By reason of our vow of obedience we are also bound to obey the pope as our highest ecclesiastical superior.
Our obligation of obedience does not exclude voicing frankly our personal opinion and conviction, yet it requires of us to put aside our own interests and wishes, and collaborate in the fulfillment of the community's tasks.
For serious reasons a major superior can give a command according to the Constitutions by virtue of the vow of obedience. Such a command is to be given in writing. Whenever possible the superior should get the opinion of his council beforehand.
All confreres are responsible for the total work of the Congregation. They share in the responsibility not only by reflecting, discussing and planning together, but also by participating in the execution of the plans and in the development of personal initiative.
Ample information is the foundation of common responsibility; co-responsibility and cooperative planning presuppose common knowledge.
The superior considers his office as a service to the confreres and the community. He is open to their concerns and helps them to live their vocation and remain faithful to it. In everything he is guided by reverence for the human personality (PC 14).
The superior must be able to count on the cooperation and support of all. He will try in a confident discussion with each individual to recognize the will of God, to awaken the creative talents of his confreres and make them fruitful for the community and its tasks. His right to decide is not affected.
The obedience lived by us contributes to the development of one's character. It leads to the freedom of the children of God (PC 14) and promotes unity. By it we offer our fellowmen an orientation in regulating their behaviour toward one another.