Romans Day 11 // The Call to Earthly Authority

Image by Melissa Clayton

Image by Melissa Clayton

Romans 13:1-7


That’s a fun word. 

Not because of how it rolls off the tongue or it’s meaning, but because of its ability to make so many people uncomfortable. 

We, antsy human beings, have a strong distaste for authority. That is, thanks to sin. And Adam and Eve. (So sorry guys, you always get the shaft.) 

But, really, ask anyone truly honestly what they think about authority and you’ll receive a whole slew of answers. I dare you to ask a random teenager. That should not fail to entertain you. 

St. Paul may have been writing to the Romans of 50 AD, but there is much truth to us Americans of 2015. We must, first, respect authority. But, we must also work to develop our conscientiousness so that we may identify when authority is working as it should and reject the laws that work against our good. Because, let’s be real honest, morality isn’t getting any clearer to our politicians. 

So, how is it that we must live as Christians? How is it that we must respect authority without compromising belief and virtue? 

St. Paul makes one thing clear: “There is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” We are called to respect authority because it is a gift given to humanity by God. It has been “instituted” by Him. But, sometimes, human authorities don’t listen to God and His wisdom. Christ’s teachings are rejected. So, what is it that we do? 

We turn to the wisdom and authority of Mother Church. 

Okay, okay, we all know the stories of the past – popes fail too. But, the Church never does, for she was instituted by Christ and is perfect. So, we must lean on the teachings of the Church in times of confusion. When our consciousness are pointing us in the “danger” direction, yet were not entirely sure why we feel this way. I am positive the Church has an explanation for you. Her authority is perfect. 

Is there a particular teaching of the Church you have a hard time accepting? Or even a mindset you’ve struggled with from other Catholics? I challenge you today to search for a better understanding of that teaching or mindset. It is quite possible that you have been taught in such a way that it has skewed your understanding from the very beginning. Truth brings us peace. We must seek that peace. And truth is found in the Church. 

Note: It is important that you are using legitimate sources to provide information. Ones that are orthodox (provide “sound” theology and teaching). Some of my favorite websites are  (great for teens),, or (to keep you up to date on news).