There is a way to phrase our thoughts, our desires that can be very direct, to the point, and short. “Take out the trash” Pick up your clothes” Get out of Bed” This mode of communicating can be effective, now granted sometimes it has to be repeated multiple times before the command is actually obeyed, but it leaves no margin of error as to what needs to be addressed. Then there is a manner of getting the same point across which can be a little less jarring but works to accomplish the same goal, “Honey, would you be so good as to take out the trash for me?” or “Time to get our of bed, I just finished cooking all the bacon” I love when Fr. Joe says that in the morning—Just kidding.
For whatever reason it is pretty evident that within our human condition we as individuals really don’t like being told what to do. Generally, it makes no difference if you are 87 and retired or 2 years old and still just getting your footing—–having someone tell you what to whether it be take this pill, do these exercises, don’t put this or that in your mouth, stop terrorizing the dog, or the worst of all BE HAVE. I think there is a temptation out there to believe that this is what Church is—that Church is a set of rules created by some holy roller to suck the fun out of all our lives. Or in other words to be holy means to be boring. Nothing could be further from the truth, look no further than the people as Church we hold as role models. The saints our are heroes not because they were these curmudgeons who no one could relate to, but because they were dynamic witnesses to just how beautiful life looks when it is lived well.
Take for example, St. Gianna Mola an Italian physician who married her husband later in life, loved the arts, drama, music, nature, she had 3 children, and during her 4th pregnancy complications were discovered and she was given the option to abort her baby and save her own life or go forward and possibly dying herself. She decided to carry her child to term not simply because she wanted to follow some Catholic rule but because her love for her faith and the life within her was so deep that she could not image doing anything but what was right. This expresses what it means to be faithful and how we are to understand the inner workings of a moral code or ethic. The Church holds a hard line on such issues as abortion, contraception, homosexual unions, and the like not as a wagging finger telling us what to do, but as a compassionate mother that longs for us to know what’s right and follow it because not only does it make sense but when we really stop and see it from where the Church is truly coming from—it actually aligns with what love is really all about.
To love our neighbor as ourselves means that we first have to be willing to live for more than just ourselves, but for God too. Each week it seems that we hear a new tragedy from our country or from around the world, from Dallas to Orlando, Istanbul to Paris. The answer is not in more legislation or even more laws but in conversion. We have to pray and make our Love for God a priority. Do we seriously give him our whole heart? Do we actually want to have our whole being, our whole checking account, our whole livelihood? Does occupy our whole mind or only a portion of it when I’m not busy and there’s nothing to watch on tv? How much does He really matter to us?
To live for love is what we all really want but when it’s not ordered by principals and truth it can become off. Here in Church we as people are not perfect and
sometimes might even appear to be nothing more than just some ruler pushers, but we come to church to receive him who is perfect, Jesus Christ, the firstborn of all creation, He did not come just to tell us what to do, but he came and He died on the cross so that we might know that we are loved first. He is the good Samaritan that picks us out of sins and pays the price to have us set free. He lived for love and he gave his all…Now it’s our turn to, “Go and do likewise”.