Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Law; an ordinance of reason for the common good, made by him who has care of the community

"They are, in fact, norms that precede any human law: as such, they are not subject to modification by anyone. Therefore, no law made by man can override the norm written by the Creator without society becoming dramatically wounded in what constitutes its basic foundation." - Pope Benedict XVI (Emeritus)

(Scripture Text: Dt 4:1, 5-9)
Moses spoke to the people and said:
“Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees
which I am teaching you to observe,
that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land 
which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you. 
Therefore, I teach you the statutes and decrees
as the LORD, my God, has commanded me,
that you may observe them in the land you are entering to occupy.
Observe them carefully,
for thus will you give evidence
of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations,
who will hear of all these statutes and say,
‘This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.’
For what great nation is there
that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us
whenever we call upon him?
Or what great nation has statutes and decrees
that are as just as this whole law
which I am setting before you today?

“However, take care and be earnestly on your guard
not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen,
nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live,
but teach them to your children and to your children’s children.”

So how do you fulfill the Law?

Scripture makes it clear that we fulfill God’s commandments through the Holy Spirit. It’s the Spirit who writes the Law on our hearts. It’s the Spirit who makes us want to live according to God’s ways. It’s the Spirit who gives us the grace and power to overcome the pull of sin. And most important, it’s the Spirit—speaking to us through Scripture, our conscience, and the Church—who gives us a “big-picture” grasp of the Christian life.

Do you see why prayer and the Sacraments (Reconciliation & the Eucharist) are so important? As we quiet our hearts and fix our eyes on the Lord, we open ourselves to his Spirit. That’s when our lives begin to change. That’s when God writes his laws on our hearts!

Don't be afraid of following the law.  God does not take from us, He only gives!

In this way, you will let your light shine before men and give glory to your Father.  There is no substitute for it.  When Catholics live the law of God, the light of God shines forth and people are deeply affected, sometimes even converted.  When Catholics do not live moral lives, nothing else can substitute and they rightfully draw down contempt and scorn from their contemporaries for hypocrisy.

There once was a man who was hired at a workplace where there was a great deal of swearing by all his co-workers.  No matter how much he heard them curse, he did not join in.  In fact, every time he heard foul words, he would humble himself before God and pray.  Within six months, due to this man's witness, the people at his workplace had entirely ceased using foul speech, yet he never uttered any kind of verbal correction or moral judgment.  They simply saw God’s light shining thorough him and were attracted to the witness.

This does not mean you become self-righteous.

Be weary of committing the worst sin of spiritual pride by claiming that you are living a just life while the rest of your fellow men are not.  Do not judge yourself or others. Do not say, "Follow me because I am morally superior than others.” Any moral authority you might have from the Gospel is because you are more acutely aware of your sinfulness and thus more aware of the mercy of the Savior. 

Don't wait.  Don't put it off.  Live a holy life now - Repent and believe in the Gospel!

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