Commandments: In Theory or Practice?

by Melanie on May 21, 2017

in Catholicism, Cursillo, Nonfiction, Spirituality, Your Daily Tripod

Note: On Tuesdays and some Sundays, you can find me at Your Daily Tripod, owned by my friend TonyD. A longer version of the post below appears there.


“They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” (John 4:21 NRSVCE)

In the literal sense, we all “have” the Lord’s commandments. They’re easy to access—type “ten commandments” in your favorite search engine, and you get millions of results. Or go retro and turn your Bible to Exodus 20.

It’s the keeping them that is much harder, of course. Few of us will worship a golden calf, but many of us nudge God out of first place in our lives with family, friends, work, possessions, and the like. We work hard at not using the Lord’s name in profanity, but we can fall prey to swearing that we will do something or we didn’t do something, all the while knowing the truth is just the opposite. We go to Mass for the Sabbath and call it good, then go home and engage in activities that make it look like any other day. The list goes on and on.

In John 14:21, Jesus tells us real love for Him involves more than lip service. It’s about living the commandments. Certainly, we’ll be persecuted for that. But if we are to suffer, let it be for doing good rather than for doing evil. For in bearing that persecution—physical, emotional, mental, or otherwise—we see more of the Lord… and help others to begin to see Him more clearly as well.

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