Friday, March 03, 2006

Thou Shalt/Thou Shalt Not

This is going to be a short post (I can hear the gasps!). Someone has listed all the commandments in the New Testament. You've got to check this out. I thought this was amazing!

After reading this we have to recall Augustine's dictum: "love God and then do what you will." It's not necessary to memorize all of these passages with some sort of legalistic anxiety. If you truly love God, keeping his commandments will follow. As Christ said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you" (Jn 14:15-17). The commandments are impossible to keep on our own - but with the help of the Spirit we can do all things.

So much could be said here about the role of the Spirit and the New Law. I highly recommend Servais Pinckaers' book, The Sources of Christian Ethics (1985).

By the way, don't forget about my radio show today, Friday (2pm Eastern Time; 11am Pacific). You can listen to it on-line but it is also syndicated across the country. Find your local radio station. You can also listen on shortwave or satellite radio.

Call in number: 1-888-526-2151.

**update for radio listeners**

To those callers who asked about the Church's lenten practices, here are some links:

On fast and abstinence: see Paul VI's Paenitemini (Apstolic Constitution on Penance), and The Code of Canon of Law (1249-1252)

On liturgical decorations and the use of holy water click here.

1 comment:

Steve Bogner said...

Wow - what a list! Didn't the Pharisees have a list of 600-some commands/laws to follow?

You hit the nail on the head though - love God, and keeping the commandments will follow.