Saturday, 21 November 2015
Youth, Christ the King & The Ten Commandments
This weekend the Church is celebrating the Feast of Christ the King. Moving it to the end of the Liturgical year in the Novus Ordo gives the feast a kind of ‘parousial’ feel; something along the lines of “in the end, Christ will reign over all”. While it is undoubtedly true that Christ will reign in over all at the end of time, the reality is that Christ has a social kingship over man even now; thus one reason for the Ten Commandments. On the Feast of Christ the King when we in the UK pray for the youth, it is useful to remind ourselves that when the young man in the Gospel asked Our Lord what he had to do to inherit eternal life Our Lord said ‘keep the Commandments’ (Matt.19v16,17).
Yet to the detriment of souls, The Commandments are often ignored today as outdated –even by the highest ranking of prelates who currently seek to eliminate the practicalities of the 6th and 9th Commandments under the guise of mercy. They, like many today, seem to defer to majority of public opinion and to the legality of an act rather than its moral quality; they allow folk to determine their choices by whether or not an act is legal or illegal, rather than morally right or wrong. To act this way is to abandon our duty to give precedence to God by giving precedence to the State and it’s laws; it is to follow a false god. While the right to determine the legality of an act rightly belongs to the Government, the right to determine the moral quality of an act as right or wrong belongs to God alone, and this moral quality is expressed in the Ten Commandments.
The Ten Commandments are not simply social justice directives or cold laws to prove loyalty to God, but a Charter for our Individual Character Formation so that we become morally good and ‘fit-in’ with God when we die: God is He Who Is, therefore we honour and serve Him above all people, places and things (we keep holy the Sabbath); God is holy, so we respect is Holy Name (we do not take the Lord’s name in vain); God is faithful, so we are faithful (we do not commit adultery); God is Truth, so we are truthful in all we say and do (we do not bear false witness, we do not steal); God is Life therefore we protect and promote human life which is made in His image(we do not kill); God is generous with His gifts, (so we do not covet our neighbours goods; we are content with what we have). If we want to form our character into one that fits with God and able to live with Him in heaven, then we need to keep the Commandments and teach others -especially the youth- to do the same in this God-forsaking world. We have already denied youth the Truth by removing the ‘Penny Catechism’ from schools; we have already denied them an act of worship that focuses them on God. We are now denying them even the Ten Commandments and thus the ability to form their character for Heaven. The Feast of Christ the King reminds us that our Lord is King of the Universe from beginning to end; in time and in eternity. And while the Church as Christ’s Body on earth is not obliged to rule each country as its government, all governments should recognise the ultimate and Absolute Sovereignty of Christ and ensure statutory laws are consistent with the Ten Commandments. If they pass laws contrary to the Law of God they set themselves up as an alternative authority to Christ; those who then follow the law of the land rather than the law of God abandon Christ to follow instead the sitting President or Prime Minister, breaking the very first Commandment: “Thou shalt have no gods before me”.
It is God’s right to be honoured and served as God; it is His due to have all bow before Him and conform themselves to Him, whether they be Monarch, President or Prime Minister. It is to our eternal good that we follow the Ten Commandments, and to our eternal detriment if we do not. Thank God for Confession! And go often: “Those who are accustomed to receiving Communion often or daily should be instructed that they should approach the Sacrament of Penance at appropriate intervals, in accordance with the condition of each” (Redemptionis Sacramemtum #86, CDF/CDWDS, 2004); “Daily or frequent communicants should be instructed to go to confession regularly, depending on their individual needs” (Eucharisticum mysterium #35, Sacred Congregation of Rites, 1967)