Why All the Rules?

So, my birthday is coming up in a couple days, and I was looking around amazon to see what I wanted to ask for.  Eventually I found myself on apple seeing what stuff they had.  On their front page, they had a brand new iPod Touch.  A bit of backstory first.  I don’t have a phone or a tablet.  For starters I can’t afford either of them, but according to family law, I’m not allowed to have them either.  I was looking at the price tag of the iPod, and it was $200.  I thought, “Man, I could get that.  I have one hundred bucks in the safe, and I could mow my lawn for a couple weeks and get the rest”.  The more rational part of me quietly dismissed this thought.  It’s not gonna happen.  I wouldn’t be allowed to get it.  I would explain my parents rules about technology, but even I don’t understand.  It is precisely for that reason that I (in some cases) resent my parents’ rules.  I’ll be at school going through my normal day when I look over at someone with their Beats headphones plugged into their iPad Air 2 while checking their iPhone 6.  Number one, it gets me really annoyed/envious that they (their parents) have enough money to throw around that kind of stuff.  And number two, it makes me really wish I could have one of those things.  But then again, it is kind of funny to hear the class gasp when I try to explain to a teacher that I can’t put my phone away in the technology bin because I don’t have one.

I remember doing the Great Adventure Bible Study (which I highly recommend) with my family one night when I was much younger, and the host Jeff Cavins was talking about one of his high school daughters.  He said that she came home one night really depressed and angry.  He of course asked her what was wrong.  She said, “I want a phone.  Every single person has one except me!”  He replied, “THANK GOD there is at least one!  And you’re it!  You should be happy.”  I think that’s what inspired some of my parent’s rules.

The point of all of this is that a lot of the time, I hate rules.  I want to buy what I want.  I want to have more freedom.  But it eventually boils down to I want to do whatever I want.  Sounds like most people today, doesn’t it?  America is obsessed with this notion of liberty.  Look at abortion, Gay “marriage”, a hundred different other things that I don’t even need to mention.  People don’t like rules, they think they just hold people back from being happy.

Imagine a baseball game where the pitcher feels like playing dodgeball, or the batter feels like playing hit-the-pinata.  Imagine a baseball game where the players do whatever the heck they want.  No rules, total liberty and freedom.  Not a very fun game to watch, is it?  Each team is going to give themselves a million points for showing up to the game.  Without rules the game falls apart.  That’s what our lives are like.

A good batter doesn’t hate the rules but obey them anyway.  “Fine coach.  I’ll use a bat instead of a cow.  Gosh, your such a communist, coach.”  No, a good baseball player loves the rules.  He understands why they are important and has witnessed the beauty of them.  He obeys them because he wants to.  A golfer loves the rules of golf, and gets upset when someone twists or disobeys them, and obviously attempts to help that person understand the game.  Rules aren’t only good, they are necessary.

Don’t get that confused with “Rules are good, so too many rules are better”.  No, an excessive amount of rules is like a suit of armor that is far too big and heavy for the wearer.  It detracts from the knight’s ability to fight.  It endangers the very thing it is supposed to protect.  That’s why my brother and I never play baseball with just the two of us.  We either have no rules and end up fighting, or have too many rules…and still end up fighting.

So, if we apply the importance of rules in things like baseball or golf, why don’t we apply them to far more imperative things like our lives?  The world tries to tell you that rules aren’t important.  That they restrain you from being happy.  Applied to a different field, they would be telling you that 2+2=5.  So, why believe them?  I hate to break it to you guys, but 2+2=4, no amount of scientists or lawyers can change that.  Marriage is between one man and one woman, and no amount of scientists or lawyers can change that.  Life begins at conception, and no amount of scientists or lawyers can change that either.  Why?  Because they didn’t make the rules.  2015-05-29-universe11


From adam4d.com
From adam4d.com

~ NEWS ~

  • Formerly Tolkien Tavern, Talking Tolkien is launching today!  If you are a die-hard Tolkien fan, you’re gonna love it.  If you read this blog, but have a lukewarm relationship with Middle Earth, you’ll love it too.  If you are like “Who is this Tool-keen guy?”, for the love of all that is good in this world, you need to check it out.  I’ll be writing there, along with a friend of mine who knows more about Middle Earth than I do, and that’s saying quite a bit.  It will be awesome.  Make sure to check it out and follow.
  • It has been brought to my attention that my username “catholic2themax” is not a very convenient name for you to address me by.  No, I’m not gonna blow my cover and tell you I’m actually Batman.  Wait, did I write that?  Darn.  But seriously, I’m not gonna give my real name away, sorry.  For explanations, read this post again, especially the beginning.  It will make sense.  But I do have some heart.  So if you are one of those poor souls who cried out to me for a convenient name to call me by, give me some ideas.  I’m really busy and don’t have the time to sit down for an hour and think of a better username.
  •  God Loves You!

In Christ, Catholic2theMax

7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit

For all of us who took a Religion class during school or attended Sunday School now and then, we all remember the last-minute scramble to get the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit memorized.  I remember almost failing that quiz because I forgot to study.  Anyway, few of us actually took the time to understand what the gifts were, rather than cramming it into our heads just to barf it back up on a quiz.  It’s a shame, really.  These are some of the coolest things you receive from God, and few people actually know what they mean.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that the Gifts “complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations.” *

In short, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit make it easier for you to be Holy.  You are more able to receive the will of God and act on it.  You get these gifts every time you are in the state of Sanctifying Grace, like when you receive the Holy Eucharist worthily.  Every time you do that, you are infused with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.  And without further ado, the Gifts.

1. Wisdom

Wisdom is inseparable from charity.  In a way, it is also closely linked to faith.  As Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., notes in his Modern Catholic Dictionary, “Where faith is a simple knowledge of the articles of Christian belief, wisdom goes on to a certain divine penetration of the truths themselves.”  Wisdom is the ability to correctly judge things of a supernatural nature, such as the existence of God.

2. Understanding 

Understanding is very often confused with Wisdom and Knowledge.  After all, their meanings in our language are often very similar.  Understanding is the ability to comprehend the meaning of the teachings of the Church.  Without Understanding, you could have memorized a term and its appropriate definition, but you would never realize what it actually means.  This might have been a little confusing, but it takes some time to fully understand this gift (no pun intended).

3. Counsel

While Wisdom was the perfection of faith, Counsel is the perfection of prudence.  Prudence can be practiced by anyone, but counsel can only be gained as a free gift from God.  Like the cardinal virtue of prudence, counsel helps us to judge what to do in any given situation.  What separates it from prudence; however, is that counsel can make the decision quickly and without a second thought.  Think of it as your Holy Instincts.

4. Fortitude

Probably the most well-known, Fortitude is the courage to stand up for what is right.  It’s not rashness, but always reasonable.  Fortitude would help you to stand up for your Faith in conversation, or as the martyrs did, even die for it.

5. Knowledge

Knowledge is, as the Archdiocese of Washington puts it, “a supernatural habit infused by God through which the human intellect, under the illuminating action of the Holy Spirit, judges rightly concerning created things as ordained to the supernatural end.”  Like the other gifts, it builds on human nature.  Knowledge helps us to judge things in perspective to the ultimate goal of someday reaching heaven.

6. Piety

Piety is the perfection of justice towards God.  CatholicCulture.org says that piety “produces an instinctive filial affection for God and devotion toward those who are specially consecrated to God“.  Piety would help you to be perfectly contrite of your sins (being sorry because you offended God, not because you are afraid of eternal punishment) and to love others because you can see God in them.

7. Fear of the Lord

Most of you reading probably already know this, but for of those who don’t, it’s not being scared of God.  Rather, it is the perfection of hope.  It is a profound respect for God, and a strong desire not to offend him.  Not like a slave fearing his overlord’s punishment, but a child wishing not to offend his parents.  It is also a firm belief in his mercy and confidence in His power.  Again, fear of the lord is not dread, but a filial respect.

These Gifts are so amazing in the fact that they don’t have to be earned.  That’s why they’re called Gifts of the Holy Spirit.


* (Libreria Editrice Vaticana (2011-11-02). Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle Locations 11167-11168). United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Kindle Edition.)