Whenever a created thing becomes no longer a means to love God but an end it itself, then you have a “love” that is idolatry.

Do you “love” the idea of finding the perfect mate? To have a better love life within marriage? To have a child? To get a job? To win an athletic championship? To get a college degree? To flourish in business? The desire for all these things can be good indeed. The avid pursuit of each of these things can actually be a duty, depending on one’s state it life.

The question, though, is whether these desires and achievements are stepping stones on the road to God or are disastrous detours. Ultimately, a gut check is needed. Are we most intent on things below or on things above? (Col 3) We should be passionate about many things below – but is our zeal for health, love, kids, education, job, financial security truly a function of our zeal for loving God and doing his will?

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New Study: The Catholic Church Is Right About Everything.

So what to do, when research gives us answers we don’t like, but we’ve been trained to believe that human nature is just a bundle of biological impulses and evolutionary drives?

Sorry, women of DoubleX.  You have only one choice:  become a Catholic.  The more we learn about how human beings are made, the more you have to admit it.  The Catholic Church is right about everything.

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Love, Sex, and the Cross

Being chaste until and within marriage, committing day in and day out to the self-giving and self-denial that lifelong marriage and child-rearing require of us, being open to God’s gift of new life in a generous and responsible way, and in this day and age, even carrying to term an unexpected child — these are difficult tasks, and our fallen nature rebels against them.

The world recognizes this natural rebellion, our desire to express human love in sexual intimacy, to seek pleasure and run from pain, to fulfill our own needs and desires while giving ill-attention to the needs and desires of others — in a word, to live our lives for ourselves.
Mistaking these desires for human nature — rather than fallen human nature — the world’s response is to laugh at Church teaching, to make a mockery of the Church and her seemingly archaic rules on sex and marriage, because they are so difficult, because they require so much of us.
Yet those who seek to follow the way of Our Lord understand that much is required of us. This is precisely the point. God calls us out of our fallenness, out of our self-centeredness and pleasure-seeking, to follow the way of perfection, to live in a way that is, by natural means, difficult — at times, even impossible. Many complain that Church teachings on sex and marriage are unrealistic, that the Church is out of touch. If we were meant to live by human means alone, to follow these teachings on our own strength, I would say the world’s complaints were absolutely right. Indeed, by my own strength, I failed at almost every one of them.

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Grand theft auto …

police20car20with20lights

The light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.
 
The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration, as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup.
 
As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up..
 
He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.
 
After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.
 
He said, ”I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the ‘What Would Jesus Do’ bumper sticker, the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘Follow Me to Sunday-School’ bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk, so naturally….I assumed you had stolen the car.”

Submitted by Doria2

I Don’t Believe in Gravity!

 

I Don’t Believe in Gravity!

by Rabbi Daniel Lapin

Don’t you agree that gravity is a nuisance? Think of the dropped items that wouldn’t break, and of the tumbles we would never take, if only Sir Isaac Newton, the 17th century British scientist who stated the Law of Gravity, had never been born. Life would be so much better without gravity, right?

 

Wrong.

Does anyone really think that until Newton stated the Law of Gravity, Englishman were free to float around above the countryside like untethered children’s balloons?

Of course not. Newton described gravity; he didn’t invent it. Gravity was never optional. Through Newton we understood it. There are spiritual laws of reality, as well, that are not optional. Those of us who believe that the good Lord created us regard Him as the expert in human nature. Therefore the instruction book He gave us, the Bible, is filled with guidance that matches our inborn natures.

For instance, when the Good Book labels promiscuity as a sin, believers understand that God is not merely indicating His displeasure at this behavior. Just as importantly, He is assuring us that it runs counter to our human needs. Promiscuity violates the spiritual laws of reality and causes just as much damage as diving out of a 20th floor window.

Consider taxation, whose first Biblical mention appears in Genesis 41.

Bewildered by his disturbing dreams, Pharaoh unsuccessfully seeks explanations from his courtiers. Finally his butler remembers the dream interpreting Joseph, who has been unjustly imprisoned for alleged sexual harassment. Joseph interprets the king’s dreams to be God’s forewarning of seven years of plenty to be followed by seven years of famine.

In verse 34 Joseph recommends applying a tax upon the Egyptian economy during the good years. “Let Pharaoh appoint officers over the land and collect up a fifth part during the seven years of plenty.” He very specifically suggests a figure of one fifth -or 20%-as the total tax on the country’s gross domestic product. Although he was an outsider to Pharaoh’s court, an alien jailbird, his counsel was acceptable not only to Pharaoh, but even more surprisingly:

“…the thing was good in the eyes of all his (Pharaoh’s) servants” (verse 37).

That a Jewish outsider’s recommendation to tax an entire country should please the monarch stretches credibility. That his subjects also found the recommendation pleasing can mean only one thing: Joseph was not imposing a new tax; he was reducing an existing one.

The tax rate they were all paying according to ancient Jewish wisdom was considerably higher than Joseph’s twenty percent. Being allowed to retain eighty percent of the fruits of their labors threw them into work with renewed energy. This tax reduction invigorated the Egyptians and, as one would expect, their economy thrived. Verse 47 confirms that”the earth brought forth by heaps.”

Most everyone accepts the need for some taxation. But when rates exceed certain limits, even law-abiding folks rebel by whatever means they can. This is no stain on their characters. They are responding to human nature. On tax rates, as on so many other issues, the Torah does not proscribe as much as it describes. It tells us about the immutable laws of human affairs.

Similarly when the Book of Numbers, 36:8 insists:
“the children of Israel shall enjoy, each man, the inheritance of his fathers,”

it is also telling us something of enduring importance: how to link consecutive generations.

Societies build healthy economies over time when citizens continue building upon the foundations constructed by their parents. People will labor and create tirelessly if they know that in so doing, they are bettering the lives of their children and their grandchildren. Men and women legitimately seek immortality through their children, which is why the Bible devotes so much space to the complexities of inheritance law.
When deciding whether to walk down a few flights of stairs or whether to take the quick route out the window, it helps to accept gravity as a fact.

When deciding rates of taxation, whether to live promiscuously, or whether a deceased parent’s wealth should belong to society or to his children, it is just as helpful to accept the Bible’s laws of human nature as fact.

Submitted by Doria2