Feb 5, 2007

Choosing a Good Choice

Most people like choice--whether it's to select the color of their clothes, the style of their hairdo, the type of food they eat, the time they wake up and go to sleep, or any of a hundred and one choices made during each day. It's too bad that those who want to be able to kill babies in the womb have chosen to identify themselves with the word, pro-choice.

Christianity is built on choice, as witness the beginning words of the Didache, the first Christian catechism.
There are two ways [to choose], one of life and one of death, but a great difference between the two ways. The way of life, then, is this: First, you shall love God who made you; second, love your neighbor as yourself, and do not do to another what you would not want done to you.
Jesus didn't force anyone to follow Him; rather He let people choose. Jesus' listeners could either believe him and follow him, or reject his teachings and walk away. The 6th Chapter of the Gospel of John is probably the best example of Jesus allowing his disciples to choose to reject His teaching when they couldn't understand how he could give them His body to eat. John 6:67 notes, "After this many of his disciples went back; and walked no more with him."

As in the time of Jesus, the Church doesn't control our actions with a police state. The Church teaches us and tries to persuade us, giving us solid arguments why we should be moral and charitable individuals. The Church guides people by clearly explaining the laws of God, so that there is no question of which way is good and which way is bad.

Choice can lead to very bad things--like abortion or rejecting Jesus' teachings to fall into sin and ultimately into hell. On the other side, choice can result in much good including the reward of a clear conscience and ultimately heaven, especially when God's way of life is difficult and requires self-discipline and sacrifice.

Weigh all things and choose that which is good. Lastly, be aware that LOVE can be evil when we love the wrong thing. Misguided love is represented by love of someone else's wife and goods, love of money, love of sinful pleasures, etc. Anyone who is confused on what is love should review C.S. Lewis' "The Four Loves".

Lives of Wasted or Misspent Time

Each one of us has times in the past which we regret. I remember a good priest wistfully telling us that if only he had let the Blessed Virgin Mary have her way completely, that he could have accomplished so much more. He seemed quite sorry that it took most of his life to find this out.

Do you have a similar regret? My regret is that about twenty years ago, I believed God was telling me that I should quit paid work and do more as a volunteer for His causes. I didn't say 'no' to God, I just told him 'wait...' It was a wrong decision, because pretty soon He quit asking. At the time of my final judgment, I'm sure He will let me fully understand the consequences of not immediately saying 'yes'.

It's always good to ask God for His direction in our lives. But it is even more important to take it when He offers guidance.