Catholics follow the Ten Commandments because Christ, Himself, followed them and because He told others to follow them (Matthew 19:16-19). We also follow them because they were given to us by God. In the book of Exodus we read how God himself gave these commandments to the Israelites through the help of Moses. However there is more to following the Ten Commandments than just because “God told us to.”
We obey God’s commands because He loves us! Because God loves us and loves us perfectly we can always trust His word. Also, because God created us we can trust that He always knows what is best for us.
“Great news! I got a promotion . . . and I’m ENGAGED!”
My friend went on and on sharing the romantic story of how her tall, handsome, Catholic man proposed. Everything in her life seemed to be the stuff of her dreams . . . and mine. As she was oozing with excitement, I smiled and was happy for her, but inside I had this strange, silent but sickly feeling of envy. There was this small part of me that wanted her to gain 10 lbs, break out with acne, or just stop talking. (Ok, not my finest moment).
I wish I could say that seeing how hurt she was cured me of any desire to ever speak ill of anyone. I felt bad. But I also experienced the power of words for the first time, and the power of sharing a secret, fact, or observation about another person was intoxicating. While I knew it was wrong, I often resorted to gossip to garner attention. I operated under the assumptions of “I’m just saying what everyone already knows,” “I’d totally say this to their face.” Or, the ever popular, “Well, I’m telling people so they can add it to their prayer intentions.” While this used to prick my conscience, like any sin, the more I spoke the less I felt bad.
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.
“Behold Jesus Christ crucified, Who is the only foundation of our hope; He is our Mediator and Advocate; the victim and sacrifice for our sins. He is goodness and patience itself; His mercy is moved by the tears of sinners, and He never refuses pardon and grace to those who ask it with a truly contrite and humbled heart.” -Saint Charles Borromeo Read more [...]
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.
The concept of having a name is an interesting thing. Don’t you think? A name is one of the most basic necessities we possess. Think about it. Without a name we would not be able to differentiate one person from another. How different would your interactions with other people be if there were no such thing as names?
I stepped into the confessional and kneeled down at the kneeler. The priest opened the partition and I froze. I could not for the life of me remember what to say to the priest. Luckily he sensed my nervousness and walked me through the whole thing.
Because I know that sometimes we forget what to say I’ve provided a basic structure of what you should say at the beginning of your confession. I hope it helps!