This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
As Jesus was passing through a field on the sabbath, his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain. At this the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?” …He said to them, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”
Life is not fair and “God is not unjust” (cf. Heb 6:10). At first glance these affirmations may appear to be contradictory but they are not, for life is remarkable (not fair) and God is faithful to all His promises. The moment we think not is the moment we begin to break apart all our promises, our most beloved institutions and most importantly, our Christian culture and civilization.
As we approach the end of January we find ourselves well into a new year, and with it, a need to renew our New Year’s resolutions (promises to the Lord). Hold on to them! Keep them! Fight hard for them! We know we must! After all, the only way we could ever dream of improving our condition in life is to work on it. If we fail, well, at least we can say we tried. So, regardless of what happens next, let’s take advantage of it and be faithful to our God who is above all things. I know He will be faithful to us, regardless of us, for the Son of man was greater than all his temptations and greater than the sum of all our weaknesses. He is lord even of the sabbath!
The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. If they could, some people would force others to work all the time. Thank God for God. Thank God for the sabbath, a day of rest. It should be a day of reflection and renewal.
God did not give us the sabbath to torture us. He gave it to help us. It was God’s way of reminding us that no possession, no title, no career is more important than love of God and neighbor. It’s hard for us to admit it, but let’s face it: money was made for man, not man for money; shopping was made for man, not man for shopping; clothes may have been made by men (women), but we were not made just to fit into clothes. Nothing on earth is superior to God, while nothing on earth is of more worth, more dignity or of value than human life. Although man was created last, when God created him, He didn’t say it was a “good thing”; He said it was “a very good thing.” Whenever we think not, we sin. And sin in a way we would prefer to forget.
The champion is not defined by the winner, but by the virtues. What does it mean to be a winner? Does it mean to come in first place? No, not necessarily, “for the first shall be last and the last shall be first”. Rather, it means to possess the humility to adjust one’s mind, heart, body and soul to reality. This is done the old fashion way: knowledge, self-discipline and virtue. But recently, science and technology have been applied in order to subdue reality to the wishes of men. The old way may be called punishing, while the new is known as doping.
Lance Armstrong recently acknowledged his use of performance enhancing drugs. He finally came clean and coming clean is the hardest thing anyone could ever do! I congratulate him for it.
When Lance cheated, he didn’t cheat for 2nd place, he cheated for 1st place. He didn’t cheat out of love for sport; he cheated out of love for himself. He didn’t cheat to be able to continue racing. He cheated to continue winning.
He is not alone. He is surely not alone. In one way or another we are all trying to subdue reality for ourselves; we are all bending our conscience to suit ourselves; we are all pursuing happiness the quick and easy way.
Conscience was not made to bend for men, but to inform men. Today is the tragic anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. Over fifty years ago, abortion was billed as a means to liberate women. It was technology and science, not God, that was going to “set us free”. It didn’t, except of one thing: any responsibility (for man and woman).
With the sudden increase in sexual perversions, we have a sudden increase in talk regarding the primacy of conscience. To those who insist on the primacy of conscience over the primacy of Church teaching (Christ’s teachings), conscience is not a wake-up call but a snooze button. It is not an informed decision but a feeling, a feeling that comes from the “gut”, which is a very puritanical way of saying the “groin”.
Oh, how silly we have become! And how silly we are in thinking of new ways to destroy ourselves!
Happiness comes with man’s arrival, not his departure. When it comes to our search for happiness, we are like bulls in a very expensive china shop. In our hyper quest for happiness, we are destroying everything around us, especially our most cherished institutions and Christian culture:
Though the “right to happiness” is chiefly claimed for the sexual impulse, it seems to me impossible that the matter should stay there. The fatal principle, once allowed in that department, must sooner or later seep though our whole lives. We thus advance towards a state of society in which not only each man but every impulse in each man claims carte blanche. And then, though our technological skill may help us to survive a little longer, our civilization will have died at heart, and will – one dare not even add ”unfortunately” – be swept away. (- from “God in the dock” by C.S. Lewis)
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- mk 2: 23-28