So this is something I have been debating a bit and wanted to put it out here to at least see if my logic is right or not. Most of my family members who have been Catholic were definite liberal minded types who perceived Vatican II as a revolution. I say that part only as background. Much of my understanding up until very recently has been in the context of an issue and my own agreement or disagreement with the issue. I have come to realize that that is not really very important, and that obedience is actually more important. One comes from me and the other comes from God. Let me give an example on an issue that isn’t quite critical for me one way or another. I give this example, once again, only to test my logic. If I would prefer that my wife and I could use contraception that reveals that I have disagreement of some sort or at least a preference that is contrary to Church teaching. However, even knowing that my preference is not the same priority as that given by Church teaching, and I nonetheless am obedient to teaching and do not utilize contaception…am I being true to my vocation as a Catholic? Or must I also agree entirely, and conform my preference as well? This is my first post on this website, but from what I have read thus far, I really trust a lot of the statements I have seen on here, and am really seeking some feedback and advice on this matter.
We don’t become perfectly conformed to Christ overnight. Our goal is certainly for all our preferences, desires, etc to be in line with Christ, and we should strive to attain that in this life, with the help of God’s grace. But realistically, most of us are going to suffer the influence of concupiscence to some extent our whole lives. By observing the evangelical counsels (poverty, chastity, obedience) according to our state in life, we counteract, and over time diminish the influence, of the three concupiscences (concupiscence of the eyes, concupiscence of the flesh, pride of life). But until then, yes, practice obedience in spite of desires, wishes, etc. to the contrary. Virtue is an act of the will, not a feeling. cf. Lagrange, Three Ages, P1, Ch. 13
Thank you so very much. This was most helpful.
You’re most welcome.