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)"

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