I wrote earlier about feelings of spiritual dryness so I’ve been praying a rosary every day and trying to have some devotional time every morning. In that vein, when I was at Barnes and Noble yesterday (looking for a British cross stitch magazine) I found a Catholic Woman’s Devotional Bible. Since it’s not easy to find a Catholic Bible in most Christian bookstores, I had to get it. It was sitting on an endcap rack so it felt like a gift from God given how I’ve been feeling.
This morning, as I waited in the drop off line at Noah’s preschool, I read today’s devotion. The reading was Genesis 3:1-7 which is basically the serpent’s successful temptation of Eve with the forbidden fruit.
The devotion for today was by Kathy Troccoli, the contemporary Christian singer, and she took an interesting slant on this reading.
Usually I hear people talking about how the serpent deceived Eve or how Adam screwed up by not taking responsibility for what they did.
However, Kathy focused on verse one:
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God say, “You shall not eat from any tree in the garden”?’
“Did God really say that?” “Yes, He did.”
“Are you sure?”
Satan does that with us, today, too. I know for myself that I have, in the past, told myself that while God said, “XYZ,” He didn’t REALLY mean EXACTLY “XYZ.” He meant “xyz” or “something like xyz.”
Our society has fallen into this error and those of us who try to follow God’s laws find it difficult to defend our positions against people who have embraced the whole “something like xyz” thing.
Take, for example, homosexuality.
God’s word clearly says that homosexual relations are wrong. Simple biology should be enough to tell us that we just weren’t designed that way.
However, many, MANY people want to change God’s “NO” into a “YES.” Same sex marriages, accepting homosexual partnerships as normal and in some cases, preferable to heterosexual, even allowing practicing homosexuals to stand behind the pulpit and “proclaim the word of God.”
And you know as well as I do that this isn’t the only place where society has taken it upon herself to change a NO to a YES or at least soften it to a MAYBE, IN CERTAIN CASES.
So, we end up with unisex bathrooms in schools so kids who are “ambivalent” about their gender won’t feel stigmatized, teachers who were Mr. So and So last year can be called Miss So and So this year, and young girls can get abortions without parental permission. It’s all around us, and those of us who are Conservative Christians and who understand that God is the same yesterday, today and for eternity are called intolerant, close-minded and oppressive.
It’s not easy to be a devout Catholic today, even in our churches. I see people walking out of a Respect Life Sunday Mass angry because the priest actually had the gall to say that abortion is a sin. We serve a God who laid out His laws for us in black and white and all around us people are standing in the gray areas telling us we’re wrong.
If you buy a fancy, expensive car, the one you’ve dreamed of and saved for for years, and the dealer tells you, “Change the oil every 3,000 miles and don’t put this kind in it” you’d listen because you want that car to run the way it was designed to and to last for years. You wouldn’t just toss the manual back at him and say, “I can make my own decisions on what is right for MY car. I don’t need your close-minded rules.”
God told us how to take care of our souls. It’s all there in the Bible and the teachings of our Church. Why do our souls deserve less respect than our cars?
God’s No is still No, but His Yes is, and always will be, YES!