Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rejecting the Source

To most Americans, the bad economic policies of late and the lack of jobs is the most worrisome aspect of their lives. This is understandable, as to be out of work can be catastrophic as well as to have your retirement funds dry up. To other people, social issues such as abortion, contraception and the homosexual agenda are the top of their 'worry' lists, yet to focus on anyone of these issues as the cause of societal and economic upheaval is to me, a misplaced focus.

These issues are symptoms of a much larger problem, a problem many refuse to see, acknowledge or even accept, let alone change. The problem is the lack of morality in our society coming with the advent of "moral relativism". It is in the rejection of the source of our morality: God. Morality is not simply a way of living our lives according to our current society's acceptance of what is right or wrong, or what we accept as good for all as a whole. Morality is the living of our lives in the image of God.

Morals were not just given to us to live by as dictates from God. They are part of God's being. God is all good not because he does good things, but because goodness is an integral part of his being such as love: God IS love. God is creator, spirit, omnipotent and a host of other attributes. They emanate from Him, not because of what he does, but because they are part and parcel of his make up; His being. Morals, the concept of right and wrong, cannot change... simply because they are part of God and God does not change.

Society's willful rejection of God cannot but bring chaos in our lives. Once society begins to make morality subjective to individuals(what each one of us thinks is right and wrong) rather than objective( coming from God, and therefore cannot change), there is an inevitable breakdown of society such as we see today. This is not a problem that has occurred overnight. Lack of morality has always existed in the past, however, it was never accepted as a good and right way to live one's life. For instance, though homosexuality flourished in ancient Rome and Greece, it was never considered moral nor was it ever sanctioned by the state. Today all this has changed where immoral homosexual behavior is considered a right of the individual by law. Though the killing of infants and the unborn occurred in ancient times, again it was never considered a 'good' thing by society as a whole. Today, the state has made the right to kill the unborn a right protected under the law.

Today, our societies have justified and have accepted immorality as a right of the individual under the protection of the law. Immoral behavior is now a right officially legislated by the state. That's the big difference between immorality of the past and present. We now accept immorality as an inalienable 'right', as if it was given to us by God.

Those of us that are appalled at what we see happening in society have to remember something. The immorality that is happening today and that is fully protected by law is the fruit that is born of what is in our hearts. In order to change society, hearts have to change and that cannot happen without God. Sure, as Americans we can vote people into office that we feel will bring about a moral change, but if we are not a moral people, our vote will reflect the same and nothing will change. The greatest challenge we face as the faithful of God,  is not in changing society, but in changing  hearts. We can enact laws to protect the unborn or to eliminate other ills of society all we want, but without a change of heart back to divine morality, then all is for naught.

What we now have in our society is what we deserve for allowing evil to persist undaunted. How many of us have sat back and reeled at this societal breakdown, yet have not asked God to change the hearts of our leaders and the people they represent? How many times have pro-life groups petitioned the court, yet have not petitioned God to change hearts?

Falling on our knees in prayer and asking God to renew our hearts is the only thing that will bring about a good and holy society that rejects abortion, homosexuality et cetera for what it is; evil. Man-made laws will not do that. Just laws need to reflect God and his justice. Are we sickened enough by what we see, and have we had enough of playing God? Are we done rejecting the source of all goodness? We shall see...we shall see.

The Ordinary Catholic





Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Power of Words

There are probably no other words that are as powerful in a persons life as the words "I love you" spoken to them. Those were the silent words that were spoken at our creation. Those were the words that were silently spoken when He stretched out His arms and hands as they nailed them to the cross.  The only reason we can say those words, or to even love one another, is because He has loved us first. He is the standard by which love makes its way through our lives: In our loving Him and our neighbors.

How powerful are those words? Imagine hearing "I love you" everyday, every week, every month....every year, then all of a sudden, at the next sunrise you no longer hear them. I hope you never experience that, for it is devastating. How often one hears the complaint that yes, I know he loves me, I just wish he would say those words, and not just assume I know he loves me?

When in the confessional I am so reassured when I hear the words of absolution, hearing them with my ears and know that I am forgiven. If I did not hear them, I would always wonder...did he forgive me? Am I fooling myself in thinking he forgave me? That is why our confession needs to be heard by a priest. It is Christ that forgives, but His words flow from the priests lips for us to hear. And so it is with "I love you". We need to hear them. But sometimes...we are no longer in a situation where can hear them spoken to us due to circumstances. No, not because we have lost their love, but because things change in our lives and it is no longer possible to hear them and it is unbearable.

I know that when those words were spoken to me, or written to me, they were not said in a flippant manner, as if there was no meaning or substance to them, or just uttered out of habit. The person meant it. They carried the full weight of that person's feelings toward me. It is a tremendous feeling knowing that, that when those words, "I love you" were said to me, they were meant FOR me and no one else.

I know I'm still loved. I have no doubt of that. None. But I will no longer hear it said. My heart has been damaged and it will never be the same. The sad part is? It was no ones fault. In the early sixties, there was a musical with a title that sums up much of what I feel..."Stop the world: I want to get off." 





Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Absence...

Yes, I am alive and well. I've just had to put in a whole lot of hours at work...So, hang in there and I shall be posting very soon and thank you for visiting Peter's Barque!

The Ordinary Catholic

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Promises...Promises...

Over at the The Feminine Gift blog,  here , there is an article titled Nostalgia, describing the more simpler times of yesteryear, and in one of the comments posted, the question of whether we gain enough in convenience to outweigh what we lose is asked.

I'm old enough to remember more simpler times, without all the technology and conveniences that we have today,  and I too yearn for those times. Yet, would we be willing to return to times where the medical advances we have today are not yet discovered, or the technology that helps in the production of more food for third world nations, is no where to be found? Convenience and technology, like any tool that helps mankind, are good things, but with every good thing there comes the risk of abusing it, or not putting it to a good and proper use.

Too often we hear how a new convenience promises to save us time, or that new computer will do the same job we now do manually, much faster and will increase our productivity and promises to save us time...again. So why do we have such little space in our lives for 'down' time? If all this technology does things for us much faster where is this saved time? The problem we have is that the time now saved is time filled with something else. We seem to feel that if we are not productive, we are wasting time.

Christ was a busy man for sure, yet he took time out to be alone and to pray. He had down time and made sure his apostles did too. Today, our down time is called a two week vacation. We seem to think that two weeks is enough to bring about a proper balance in our lives between work, play and reflection. I know that I cannot wait a year for that vacation to come so that I can balance myself. I need to do this during the day, everyday, yet technology makes it very difficult to do. We are expected to be busy all the time. I for one, believe we have lost a lot from conveniences and today's technology.

One of the more relaxing and less stressful times I ever had was in the late 90's, when we lost power for six days due to an ice storm. Sure, we had no power to run all those neat little gadgets, yet we heated with wood, we cooked with gas and hurricane lamps did the trick when it came to reading that book. No computer, no stereo, no TV to interfere with life. The lack of water was the only real inconvenience we encountered and even that was resolved. There was a silence surrounding us that I didn't even know existed and it was exquisite.

Doing without conveniences means doing something that takes time, involves using our ingenuity, our hands and a sense satisfaction of having done something ourselves. It may sound difficult and time consuming, but nothing worth doing is ever easy and requires time to do it well. This is lost today, especially among those that never have done without conveniences or technology, which is most of us. And one more thing, since so much is instant, such as instant gratification, the virtue of patience is hardly ever practiced anymore. A virtue that all of us wanting to build good character, need to exercise.