Things of this world don’t seem to satisfy us for very long. Everyone is always looking for more, striving for something better, or having more meaning; yet, we never seem to satiate those deep hungers our hearts are yearning for. Many people have often sought out material dreams or passing relationships, when what they are really looking for is peace and contentment; which, only God can provide.
Often, people who are both religious and non-religious complain of not “feeling God” in their lives when they are living as “good people,” or attend church regularly. They often question their continuing practice of praise and worship or even believing in a god that doesn’t seem to “show Himself” or have influence in their life. They believe that their lives are what they make of it, their rules are determined by a moral relativism that is different for everyone and no one should be intolerant to another or another’s viewpoint. This relativistic theory and belief of those living this way, doesn’t allow for truth of the moral laws instituted by God.
Tolerance was a Christian invention. I bet that would surprise many people, but I digress. Christians taught that we needed to be tolerant of those who differ both legally and socially. Governments cannot legally force certain religious beliefs on their citizens and we as Catholic Christians must continue to defend the rights of people to practice their religious beliefs no matter if their beliefs are the truth or not. However, it is our duty to proclaim Christ’s truth, in love, to them. Social tolerance is an ancient practice that Jesus instituted by calling on us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and that includes our enemies and those who are of a different religion, ethnicity, race and moral beliefs. We are always called to pray for those who haven’t come to the fullness of truth into the Catholic Church and while we can be tolerant of others viewpoints and beliefs, we don’t have to agree with them. Also, we often hear the saying, “I don’t judge.” Judging the actions of others that go against the moral law is righteous; however, judging the state of one’s soul ( “he’s going to hell”) is unrighteous, as we never truly know the state of a person’s soul in the last minutes of their life.
God’s law is like an instruction manual for human beings. Knowing that our human nature would run amok without rules for living, we are given the moral laws and if we break God’s laws, we will experience brokenness and consequences for our actions. Just like a loving parent institutes rules for their children, God laws are meant to help his people avoid mistakes that lead to brokenness and sin, not just to restrict them and cause punishment. Unfortunately, many people see these laws as not pertaining to today’s culture and are too restrictive to apply to daily lives; so, those same people, when experiencing hardship or trauma, cry out and curse God because He doesn’t seem to be there for them, in their times of need. How can we push God and his moral laws out of our lives one minute and blame Him for not being there in the next?
When Adam and Eve said no to God’s laws, sin was introduced into the world; however, God didn’t give up on us. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:17 God is love and he loves us unconditionally. We can only love if we are free and God gave us the ability to say yes or no to Him and His laws. The freedom of our wills to love is the essence of our purpose in life and eternity. God wants to have a relationship of love with us so we may have eternal life with Him, through our belief in His only Son, Jesus Christ.
Faith is a personal gift from God. Believing what He has revealed in our hearts through the Holy Spirit and to love, trust and have confidence in Him during all the times in our life, whether we can “feel” His presence or not. “Faith seeks understanding: It is intrinsic to faith that a believer desires to know better the One in whom he has put his faith and to understand better what He has ‘revealed’, a more penetrating knowledge will in turn call forth a greater faith, increasingly set afire by love” CCC no.158
So, let us yearn for God’s love and unending mercy for us sinners. We can never be perfect; however, we can continue to grow in holiness by following the moral laws, learning more about our faith, and continuing to build a relationship with Our Lord through the Church that Jesus Christ founded.