My image of God the Father, enthroned in heaven in flowing white robes and Birkenstock sandals, was overshadowed by my certainty that he didn't want me to have any fun. Not only was God all about rules, he'd drop anybody that strayed off his path. Parochial school should have taught me how to live but instead I learned how not to die and burn. The result was that I treated Moses' Commandments with the same reverence I reserved for one of Letterman's 'Top Ten' lists.
Patti was an easy target for these jokes. She went to a different school, dressed a little differently, talked a little louder. Leaning against the sink in the girl's bathroom, sensing everyone's attention and wanting to seal my spot in the group, I made a joke about her. It was true, but it wasn't nice.
The idea of stealing something is totally scary to me. I can't even imagine the amount of fear that would paralyze me if I ever went to steal something like shoes, cash, or a camera. I would be shaking like a wet puppy in winter. But I would be sweating like it's Phoenix in July. And I'm also pretty sure that the sick feeling in my stomach, the shame, and the guilt would drive me to return the stolen item the next day. I'm a sensitive person.
I was once told that the easiest way to remember commandment number 'six' is that it sounds like 'sex.' At the time I thought it was just another lame example from my youth minister.
The funny thing is – I still remember it.
What wasn't funny, however, is that at the time I somehow thought the 'don't commit adultery' commandment had little to do with me, an unmarried sixteen year old. I couldn't have been more wrong.
The truth is that this commandment isn't only for married people. It's violated by all ages … including teenagers … almost daily.
We've all experienced knowing someone who's better than you at something or has something you lack. If you feel happy for them and aspire them to grow and get better, that's not envy.
Let's be real, I think the Lord had teenagers in mind when He came up with the fourth commandment. It's no secret that the teen years are often the hardest when it comes to the parent-child relationship.
But does it have to be that way?
Not at all! When we realize that we have a responsibility to honor our parents, the relationship becomes a lot easier. Here's a little piece of my experience with the 4th commandment.
My second favorite day is Sunday. Growing up, Sundays were lazy, watch TV or movies all day in my PJs, don’t brush my teeth until 3:30 pm kind of days. Then after Mass and Life Night, I started my two hours of homework because the rest of day I was clearly too wrapped up in more important things like watching Men in Black three times in a row. I always thought, “Surely this is what God meant when he gave us the 3rd Commandment – Laziness, bad hygiene, and procrastination.”
I didn't realize she was also in the restroom until she exited the stall into the cloud of my words still suspended mid-air. While everyone else shuffled away awkwardly, my eyes locked with Patti's.
Then I realized that I was not much better than those pagan voodoo worshipers.
In my head I know that God was the only one worth my worship, but I still found myself turning to so many other relationships, habits, and even sins to save me when I was overwhelmed and in need of help. I knew that Jesus was my Savior, but often I turned anywhere else but towards Him when I needed to be saved from loneliness, hurt, or boredom.
I want to share a video that has an powerful message of hope for those who’ve suffered through an abortion.
This is a video of a woman named Lisa who dealt with abuse, divorce, and had three abortions. She has an incredible witness about the healing she received. The beauty of being Catholic is that besides counseling, we have the Sacrament of Confession where Christ Himself forgives us. Lisa experiences peace when she stopped hiding her abortions in the dark. Her shame was wiped away.
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who said that a woman has a right to have an abortion because it's her body? This is one of the most common ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâèÏdefenses' of the pro-choice position; so more than likely, you've heard it.
It’s hard to respond to. Here are some ways you can talk about this argument.
I asked a handful of men some questions about abortion and I was deeply moved by their answers. It convinced me that it’s not just women who are hurt by abortion. Men have strong feelings about it and want to stand up for life. They are affected too.
Read for yourself.
“11 years ago my girlfriend at the time told me she was pregnant, but because she already had one fatherless child and I was a drunk and an addict she told me she was going to abort the baby. I was not practicing my faith back then but I knew it was wrong. I fought for her to keep the baby but in the end I gave up . . . “
When we attend the March for Life, we stand in the streets of our Nation's capital to protest a law that is unjust. To take a day to gather and give a very public witness – to 'shout' that we are Pro-Life, and that the law of our land is unjust. But as Catholics – as humans – we know that at the heart of the pro-life movement it is not a question of laws but of souls. The souls of babies, the souls of mothers and fathers, and the souls of those with whom we disagree.