There are Rules, You Know.

I haven’t been writing. I’ve needed time to sort some things out.

There are two things I know that I am. One is a Catholic. The other is an American. Like many others, these are the foundation of my being – the platform on which I have built my entire life.

As Matthew discusses in his gospel, I believe like the smart man, I have built my house on rock, which will sustain, rather than sand, which will fail.

Yet I worry, as it seems much of our world is sliding down the cliff into the ocean to be washed away. This problem seems to be rooted in our arrogant belief that we humans are able to set our own rules and guidelines for living.

This summer has seen some true storms battering against the foundations of lives built on Catholicism and America. Obviously there was the same-sex marriage Supreme Court decision. There have been three mass shootings in recent weeks, racial fights about a hundred-year-old plus flag, and of course, revelations about what Planned Parenthood really does with the bodies of aborted babies. Couple all that with ISIS, Christian persecution, sex-trafficking, Nuns being forced to pay for abortion, and there are fewer and fewer reasons to get out of bed in the morning.

Where did we lose our way? For generations, there have been both written and unwritten “rules” if you will, about how civilized society deals with such conflicts. They’ve been passed down by word of mouth. Written in our Bibles. Reiterated by popes and religious leaders. Some are included or implied on the Constitution of our great country. We should agree about more than we differ on at this late date.

If it’s not obvious to someone yet that ending another life is wrong, we’ve got problems. Yet in our cities, people die daily over drugs, debts, relationship problems, general arguments and just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Our young women are sold a story of rainbows and unicorns on abortion, only to find they will live with unmentionable guilt the rest of their days. Others, ignoring natural law, question the gender God himself assigned them, daring to tell the almighty he made a “mistake.”

Society now believes morality is relative. That we make up our own rules for our lives. Let’s be honest here – most of us don’t have the mental, emotional and spiritual capacity to do that properly. We are selfish, power-hungry, and win-at-any-cost when it comes to what we want and think we deserve. Which, when it comes to being decent human beings, isn’t much.

I haven’t been writing much. Not that there isn’t much to discuss. I just don’t seem to have much to say about our obsession with rewriting rules we already know work and propel us towards liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

Yet each day, the world gets worse instead of better. Because of us – humans. As if we’ve crossed over progression and started downhill to regression. Freedom is not about doing whatever you want when you want to do it. It’s about having the opportunity to do what is right when it needs doing. It’s about having a conscience that nags us, not a society that tells us WE decide what is right. 

Until we get that through our heads, it would be nice if people stopped shooting one another, belittling one another and insisting wrong is right.

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4 thoughts on “There are Rules, You Know.

  1. Jane Rowland

    Rita, have you read The Second Greatest Story Ever Told? It is a fantastic book written by Fr. Michael Gaitley, filled with hope. (In fact, anything by Fr. Gaitley is good–he also has an audio CD by the same name through Lighthouse Catholic Media). He emphasizes John Paul II’s message of mercy: that because we live in times of unprecedented broken-ness and evil, we also live in times of unprecedented Mercy. And this is such GOOD NEWS! It doesn’t mean we have blinders on to evil, it just means that we refuse to give in to bitterness and fear, and place our trust in the Love which is greater than everything. Check it out! 🙂

    Reply
    1. switched Post author

      Hey Jane. I will have to check that out. I’ve read lots from lighthouse, but not that one. Thanks for the tip. And for reading my stuff. Hope you and yours are well.

      Reply
  2. averagecatholic

    I feel a shadow has been over what is called “the West” for long time, since before World War I. We haven’t lived in a Christian civilization for a while now. It has been pagan, worshipping lust and greed and power.

    I feel nervous about what is going on now as well. I don’t think it is so much that we are changing now. Most people changed 40, 50 or 60+ years ago. I think you are right about the relativism in our society, people deciding for themselves what is right, what is wrong. Or what Pope Benedict called the “Dictatorship of Relativism”. The world had already changed, but the change was covered by a veil. I think what we are seeing is the veil lifted, and the truth of the world we are living in is surprising a lot of Christians 😦

    If I can quote a couple of passages from Archbishop Fulton J Sheen’s “A Plea for Intolerance”… the Archbishop saw the world we are living in (see the whole essay here -> http://average-catholic.com/2013/01/21/a-plea-for-intolerance/) :

    “Belief in the existence of God, in the Divinity of Christ, in the moral law, is considered passing fashions. The latest thing in this new tolerance is considered the true thing, as if truth were a fashion, like a hat, instead of an institution like a head.

    The final argument for modern broad-mindedness is that truth is novelty and hence “truth” changes with the passing fancies of the moment. Like the chameleon that changes his colors to suit the vesture on which he is placed, so truth is supposed to change to fit the foibles and obliquities of the age. The nature of certain things is fixed, and none more so than the nature of truth. Truth may be contradicted a thousand times, but that only proves that it is strong enough to survive a thousand assaults. But for any one to say, “Some say this, some say that, therefore, there is no truth,” is about as logical as it would have been for Columbus who heard some say, “The earth is round”, and others say “The earth is flat” to conclude: “Therefore, there is no earth.” Like a carpenter who might throw away his rule and use each beam as a measuring rod, so, too, those who have thrown away the standard of objective truth have nothing left with which to measure but the mental fashion of the moment.”

    and…

    “The Church is identified with Christ in both time and principle; She began thinking on His first principles and the harder She thought, the more dogmas She developed. She never forgot those dogmas; She remembered them and Her memory is Tradition. The dogmas of the Church are like bricks, solid things with which a man can build, not like straw, which is “religious experience” fit only for burning. The Church has been and will always be intolerant so far as the rights of God are concerned, for heresy, error, and untruth affect not personal matters on which She may yield, but a Divine Right in which there is no yielding. The truth is divine; the heretic is human. Due reparation made, the Church will admit the heretic back into the treasury of Her souls, but never the heresy into the treasure of Her Wisdom. Right is right even if nobody is right; and wrong is wrong if everybody is wrong.”

    God bless,
    AC

    Reply
  3. SR

    “Where did we lose our way?” When the “pill” came into play, we started calling “babies” a fetus, then killing them in the womb. Since then this nation and many others doing the same things, went downhill. Most of all and to me this is the most dangerous of all things. When we must “tolerate” the word “tolerance.” As Christians we can never “tolerate” sin. In ourselves or others. God does not “tolerate” it very well either. Great post and God Bless, SR

    Reply

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