Friday, 29 November 2013

The Ten Commandments: 1st Commandment: God and God alone

"I am the Lord your God, you shall have no strange gods besides me"

Some folks think that just because they go to church, come regularly for Mass, help out in church activities; it seems unlikely that they could ever break this commandment. However, one might be surprised to discover that one could appear to be a "good Catholic" and still break this commandment. How so?

If you have:
  • Given a creature (any person but God) or creation (e.g. sun, moon, stars, "Mother Earth") or object (idols or images carved by men) worship which belongs to God alone; treating these as a god instead
  • Believed in or subscribe to superstition, spiritualism, seances, astrology, feng shui, bomohs, horoscopes, fortune telling, palm reading
  • Tried to communicate with the dead directly or through others
  • Got involved in occult practices in one form or another
  • Committed sacrilege (misused what is sacred), got involved in false worship
  • Presumption (jumping to conclusions or accepting that something is true until proven otherwise) and despair
  • Renounced the faith or given up Catholic practice for the sake of wealth, honours, society, or worldly pleasures
then we could be breaking this commandment.

Jesus reminded us that we cannot have 2 masters: "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. (Matthew 6:24)" Which would you choose? God? Or wealth? God's ways? Or worldly ways? Sometimes in our pursuit of wealth, status and success in this world, we may place God as second place and less important, and elevate others as priority. When we put other things first and God second, then we are having strange gods besides God. Let us take heed of what Jesus warned us: "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26)"

Thursday, 28 November 2013

The Ten Commandments: A Refresher - Introduction

Some of us may have forgotten or are unsure what the 10 commandments mean. So, to help these folks, here is a summary of the 10 commandments to help us especially in preparation for the sacrament of confession.
  1. I am the Lord your God, you shall have no strange gods besides me
  2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
  3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s day
  4. Honour your father and your mother
  5. You shall not kill
  6. You shall not commit adultery
  7. You shall not steal
  8. You shall not bear false witness
  9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods
If you look closely, the 10 commandments can be broken into only 2, loving God (the first 3 commandments) and loving each other (the remaining 7 commandments) (Matthew 22:37-40). In giving us the Ten Commandments God is not trying to take away our fun or our freedom. Instead He’s showing us how we were meant to live. So, if God is inviting us to live right, let us then live right and grow in relationship with Him and with others around us.

BO and MO during Confession?

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