There is a reason we think of sin as a dark and horrible thing. Beyond God's spark of grace that puts that feeling into each of us, sin loves the dark. It loves to manifest in dark places. Sometimes you won't even notice you are sinning; or worse not "that" sinful. Sure you'll rationalize it away but in general each of us is guilty. The posting today, we'll take a look at the 10 commandments and expand on them. It was Father Larry Richards on Catholic radio that once said something to the effect of, "We all break the commandments." Thankfully, after we take a more indepth look, we will then take a look at a couple of ways we can fix our broken relationship with God.
Before we dive into things here's God's Top 10!
1. I am the LORD your God:
you shall not have
strange Gods before 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. Honor 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 against your neighbor.
9. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor's goods.
I have a Facebook friend that posted a saying "You don't have to have sex to cheat. Once you find yourself deleting texts and emails you're probably almost there." Same goes for the Ten Commandments. You don't have to truly commit murder to break that command. Hatred is a very powerful emotion. Ever though about hatred being a "degree" of the 5th commandment? Other than your hold on morality, what is hatred but withheld malice and murder? What is "harmless flirting" but adultery in word and not in deed. With this kind of outlook we all need to evaluate our commitment to these simply commandments.
Everyone knows the list. Certainly familiar to some more than others and thankfully we still live in a time/place were the Commandments are still listed in some courthouses. But have you thought about "degrees" of those sins? Seriously. Have you given the Sabbath, Holy Day entirely to Him or football and tailgating? If I see another "drive-thru" communion person I swear I'll scream; it is the most bizarre thing I've seen since joining the Church. Or perhaps, men, you are looking at that cute girl in the cube next to you; and you're married. You're not acting, perhaps not even flirting. Are you honestly being faithful? In your heart, with your spouse present would you really be doing stuff. What if it was God and your spouse standing by? Much different lenses than simply not getting caught, or "not that bad". We need to understand that bad is bad regardless of the "degree" of getting caught.
If you take the letter of the law verbatim, it's unlikely that many of us are actually breaking the commandment in total. However, if we look at them with a bit of a different filter, then likely the next time you get a chance I'd suggest taking the 10 into your reconciliation and making it a good and meaningful experience. I'm still looking forward to my FIRST, once I get past the annulment process and fully come into the Church. I have a TON of emotional and spiritual baggage. I'm looking forward to talking and praying with my priest and begin the healing. It sounds weird but I'm very anxious for both the healing process and partaking in the Eucharist.
I'd also suggest fervent prayer and we can dive into the use of the Rosary and whatnot next time. That's a whole other new and interesting thing from my standpoint.
Regardless of your "list" remember that you can use those sorrows and trials in prayer. Like the one below:
Help me to remember in these troubled times
The cross you carried for my sake,
So that I may better carry mine
And to help others do the same,
As I offer up (whatever your concern or problem here) to you
For the conversion of sinners
For the forgiveness of sins
In reparation for sins
And for the salvation of souls. Amen
I've used this particular prayer when my back has been against the wall or I felt alone, isolated, and defeated. Take this prayer and add it to your arsenal. God only gives you what you can handle, you can always ask God for strength and confidence to accept the burden.