Written by Clint Nobles

"They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: But lusted exceedingly inrepparttar wilderness, and tempted God inrepparttar 126936 desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul." Ps. 106:13-15

I have long enjoyed readingrepparttar 126937 one hundredth and sixth chapter ofrepparttar 126938 book of Psalms where David chronicledrepparttar 126939 Israel's past, creating, if you will, his own history book. But I failed to realizerepparttar 126940 Biblical reason for keeping a record of a Nation's or an individual's past. Paul explained that "whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning." (Rom. 15:4) God wants mankind to learn from our mistakes that we may "cease to do evil; learn to do well." (Isa. 1:16,17) Here in Psalms 106 we find example after example of things we may cease from doing. One such illustration is found in our text for today. Verse 15 is a startling reminder that though we seek after something with all of our earthly heart, once given this assumed blessing byrepparttar 126941 hand of God, it might berepparttar 126942 very thing that takes us from that oneness walk withrepparttar 126943 one true God.

Israel had eaten manna until they were sick of it, they could not stand to gather it day after day. Even though they feasted onrepparttar 126944 food of angles, their human appetite was never satisfied. They began murmuring againstrepparttar 126945 man of God, and against God himself saying, "Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt." (Num. 11:18) They cried againstrepparttar 126946 God of Heaven,repparttar 126947 Lord of their salvation, they mocked him saying, "Why came we forth out of Egypt?" (Num. 11:20) Therefore he abhorred them and gave them that which they wanted; but fleshly satisfaction does not come without a price! They aterepparttar 126948 flesh of fowl until it came forth from their nostrils, until they could not standrepparttar 126949 site of it, butrepparttar 126950 recompense was not over. They not only suffered physically, butrepparttar 126951 Lord Jehovah "sent leanness into their soul." They could not be content with whatrepparttar 126952 Lord provided, they wanted what they had back in Egypt. In Egypt they might have been slaves. In Egypt they might have been beaten, but at least, they reasoned, they had flesh to eat and wine to drink. But here, inrepparttar 126953 wilderness, what did they have? Water from rocks and bread that fell as dew from Heaven. Their continual cries came before God and he gave themrepparttar 126954 desires of their heart. But you see, their heart did not desirerepparttar 126955 things of God, but what they had back inrepparttar 126956 land of bondage. However, though they feasted onrepparttar 126957 lust of their heart, their souls languished onrepparttar 126958 memories of glory days gone by.

Martin Luther Would Be Proud

Written by Gary Shirley

Not again, thought Tom Parker. Not another homily about how we should embrace life from conception to natural death. Not another reminder that God isrepparttar Author of all life. Please don’t warn us again aboutrepparttar 126935 evils of contraception and abortion. Is all this really necessary? Why doesrepparttar 126936 Church feel this overwhelming need to invade our private lives?

Driving home from church, Tom complained to his wife Linda, “Don’t these priests understandrepparttar 126937 harsh reality of living in today’s world? They stand up there and tell us to welcome children into our lives, but they don’t have to facerepparttar 126938 difficulties of raising them nor foot any ofrepparttar 126939 bills. Do they have a clue what college costs these days? Why isrepparttar 126940 Catholic Church so out of touch with American life? When will these guys wake up to how society has changed, thanks to great social programs, progressive laws and quantum leaps in technology? Catholics don’t need to hear this stuff over and over again.”

While he drew his next breath, Linda managed to squeeze in a solicitous, “Yes, dear.” She hoped that if Tom knew someone was actually listening, he would be satisfied and let it ride. Only a moment of treasured silence occurred. A different response soon came fromrepparttar 126941 back seat. “So, Tom, you thinkrepparttar 126942 Church is out of touch withrepparttar 126943 times, eh? You actually believe that good Catholics don’t need to be reminded ofrepparttar 126944 truths ofrepparttar 126945 faith,” camerepparttar 126946 return volley from his brother Jeff. Both Jeff and his wife Rose had been listening attentively to Tom’s spleen venting.

Jeff always loved to antagonize his older brother all through their boyhood, especially when Tom went off on one of his tirades. Visiting from Colorado, Jeff and Rose were only in town forrepparttar 126947 weekend. He wantedrepparttar 126948 visit to be a pleasant one but Jeff couldn’t resistrepparttar 126949 chance to spar with his big brother like they used to do. Since he had been certified as an RCIA catechist inrepparttar 126950 past year, Jeff had some insights intorepparttar 126951 faith that he was anxious to share. Tom would be a tough sell, because Jeff knew his brother’s faith formation pretty much ended withrepparttar 126952 eighth-grade CCD program. Baiting his brother, Jeff asked, “So, Tom, what’s incredulity?”

The response from Tom was more treasured silence. Carryingrepparttar 126953 torch, Jeff responded, “The Catechism ofrepparttar 126954 Catholic Church teaches us that, ‘incredulity isrepparttar 126955 neglect of revealed truth orrepparttar 126956 willful refusal to assent to it.’” He added, “Incredulity is just this side of outright heresy, Tom.” Not quite makingrepparttar 126957 connection, Tom said, “So... I go to Mass every Sunday, but because I complain aboutrepparttar 126958 homily I am a heretic?” “Of course not,” said Jeff, “ but think aboutrepparttar 126959 priest’s message. He was trying to remindrepparttar 126960 faithful that, agree or not, we must followrepparttar 126961 Church’s teachings. To do otherwise makes us, in effect, Protestants.”

Jeff continued, “Remember,repparttar 126962 so-called “Reformation” inrepparttar 126963 fifteenth century was born of protest againstrepparttar 126964 Catholic Church. That mindset of protest has infected Christianity ever since. It has essentially morphed into an attitude of, ‘I’ll believe what I agree with and discardrepparttar 126965 rest.’ Many Catholics acceptrepparttar 126966 Church teachings that they agree with, like mayberepparttar 126967 Mass,repparttar 126968 Eucharist, or certain rites and traditions. Then they secretly or even flagrantly protest againstrepparttar 126969 things that have not earned their agreement. Think about it, Tom. Personal agreement is nowrepparttar 126970 de facto standard by which we measure our faith life. Disobedience has becomerepparttar 126971 norm. It’s wrong and it isrepparttar 126972 cause of many good Catholics going astray. ”

Seeing that he had everyone’s rapt attention, Jeff went on. “Contraception is a classic example. Millions of Catholics think they can freely engage in contraceptive practices while still living a sacramental life. They pretend that they do not know whatrepparttar 126973 Church teaches or act as if some unwritten latitude exists as they brazenly dissent. Believe me, brother, I’ve heard allrepparttar 126974 rationalizations in my short time as a teacher - ‘Oh, I don’t agree withrepparttar 126975 Vatican on that,’ or ‘What doesrepparttar 126976 Pope know about married life?” or ‘The Church is just trying to keep women barefoot and pregnant.’ Meanwhile these very same people line up for Holy Communion every Sunday, resolute in their sin. I sit inrepparttar 126977 pew and watch in amazement. Are they Catholics going forward to receiverepparttar 126978 Lord inrepparttar 126979 Eucharist or are they Protestants who simply findrepparttar 126980 Eucharist acceptable theology?”

“Wait a minute,” snorted Tom, “You are really hammering your fellow parishioners awful hard. Being a catechist doesn’t make you judge and jury.” Experienced withrepparttar 126981 underlying meaning in Tom’s tone, Jeff responded, “Listen carefully, big brother, because I’m not hammeringrepparttar 126982 people but their actions. Only God holdsrepparttar 126983 judgment seat on each person, but we must not be afraid to judge actions and to address those actions that are sinful.” Before Tom could respond, Jeff continued, “The Catechism nails this very attitude when it states inrepparttar 126984 section on mortal sin, ‘Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart do not diminish, but rather increase,repparttar 126985 voluntary character of sin.’ By pretending not to know or by obstinately refusing to find outrepparttar 126986 truth, we think we are fooling God,” said Jeff. We might fool our priest, our friends and our family, but we cannot fool God. In reality we are actually deepening our state of sin. Imaginerepparttar 126987 civil parallel: if I pretend to be completely ignorant of paying income tax, then do I really believe thatrepparttar 126988 IRS will let me slide inrepparttar 126989 end? Of course not! In reality, for every year I avoid paying taxesrepparttar 126990 penalties grow exponentially. Should God operate with different logic? Why do we think God went to allrepparttar 126991 trouble to teach usrepparttar 126992 right way through Moses,repparttar 126993 prophets and Christ himself only to assume that he’ll let us slide inrepparttar 126994 end? For this to occur we would have to re-mold God so that he becomes a Being of pure mercy devoid of justice. It’s logically and theologically absurd.”

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