Sunday, September 22, 2013

Why do I do what I do?

"If there is no mercy in our hearts, if we do not experience the joy of forgiveness, we are not in communion with God, even if we observe all the commandments, because it is love that saves, not the simple observance of rules." -Pope Francis

I have tried to challenge people to reflect on the question, "Why do I do what I do?" Everyday we make decisions, take steps, and perform tasks. We do it with the family, at work, in school and within our walk with God. At times we make decisions with much thought and other moments with little or no thought at all. Certainly there are things in our daily life that do not need much reflection nor consultation before we make a decision or take a step. However, there are other things that desperately need us to take more time for discernment, reflection and then action.

When it comes to our walk with the Lord we must reflect more on the question, "Why do I do what I do?" If we allow our walk with the Lord to be routine, normal, expected and without thought, we can lose sight of what our relationship with God is truly all about. We can take the focus off things that matter more and simply become robotic or emotionless. We can even convince ourselves we are doing right and good because we are doing the things we are expected to do. 

As Pope Francis reminds us our walk with the Lord is more than a simple observance of rules. Yes, observance of rules is necessary and good, however, what is it that drives me in the observance of the rules? Is there love? Is there joy? Is there a true desire to be in communion with God? You see it is not one without the other. God is not calling us to throw out the rules and live the way we desire to live. At the same time God is challenging us not to simply observe commandments without knowing why and without love in our hearts! We need to seek balance. We need to understand why we do what we do.

One example:

Do I go to Church uninterested because it is only a commandment and I am expected to do so?
Do I not go to Church because it is only a rule and besides God loves me anyway?
Do I go to Church because God invites me into His presence and I do so with love and gratitude in my heart to worship and adore His presence?

And so when it comes to important things in your life like relationships, commitments, and sacrifices, take an extra moment before you act and ask yourself, why do I do what I do?

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