Is God Crossing My Stars? Part Due

Is God Crossing my Stars: A Quick Question of Fate and Predestination (For Teens!)
Part 2: Continuation

Ok, so now for part two of the Catholic explanation on Fate and relate themes.

So, this post is about the Catholic perspective on Fate. And I'll just take out the suspense and say, we don't really believe in it. I mean, it would depend on your definition...maybe...but really, we don't.

Catholics go by a theology of free will. In the Catechism of the Catholic church (which is basically like a catholic handbook) there is a quote by Saint Irenaeus: "Man is Rational and therefore like God; he is created with free will and is master over his acts." That quote sums up a good portion of what we, as Catholics, believe.

But I have to tell you that that isn't all there is to it.

Because I know how it is if you happen to be an American Catholic. We Americans, we're brought up on this idea of freedom of everything. I'm free to do go here if I want. I'm free to hang out with them if I want. I'm free to buy that if I want. And I will, cuz I'mma 'merican.

And there's not anything necessarily wrong with freedom. In fact, freedom is definitely a good thing. And I'd expect that the Catholic teaching of free will and America's free will often go along nicely (from a typical American perspective.) However, there are differences between the two just as there are differences between predestination and Catholic teaching.

So finally, what is Catholic free will like?

I once had a religion teacher explain it to me something like this--

Let's say a man captures you at gunpoint and takes you hostage. He takes you to his home and sits you down on the floor (scary huh?) He brings out two plates; one is covered with nails and the other is covered with screws. "Choose your meal," he says.

Which do you choose? He's giving you freedom right? I mean, you're allowed to make a choice of what to eat, aren't you? Why should it matter that both choices are really crappy?

Freedom is only freedom if you have the ability, as one of your choices, to choose good. If you are faced with a choice of running from the police, getting into a shootout, or doing something really horrible to yourself, can you really call it a choice?

I know I'm speaking on extreme terms here, but that's just to show my point. You can think of it on a smaller scale too. Let's say you just realized that way too much bull pucky happens at the parties you go to. You're so done with it. But you only see your choices as:
a. Don't go to the party and look like an idiot when everyone talks crap on you the next day.
b. go to the party anyway.
Where's the good choice? Is that freedom? No!

We are only free when we can choose good.

We are only free when we can choose GOD.

What if your party situation was a little different? What it looked like--
a. Don't go--get made fun of
b. go anyway
c. Don't go, but instead hang out with friends who won't make fun of you for not partying. Maybe your church has a good youth group and there's people there who will support you when you tell them what's up. They could help you through it.

So you have those three options. The hard part is choosing the good option. Not just the good for God option, but also the good for you option (more on that later). So, with free will, we have a responsibility to make the RiGHT choice. Not the MY choice.

It's not about "I feel like doing this."

It's about "I know I should do this."

And that's why God gave us free will.

I said I wasn't going to go into apologetics, but I have to say this. That minister or priest say that it gives God more glory that HE chooses US. Basically, it means more that God makes us love him. Why should Gog be subjected to rejection?

I have to tell you guys, it gives God the utmost glory when even a single person accepts him. Just one person. Think of your best friend. Would it be better if you forced him or her to be your friend? Or would you rather them CHOOSE you? That's what God did for us. His love is so great, that he is willing to be rejected by you, and thrown down, just on the offchance that someday you might turn around and bring him into your life. And if you choose him early, then be glad. You never know when your time is up. Don't wait til the last minute. But every second that you live, God is trying to make you see him.

We are not robots. God did not force the path you would follow. You've made every choice to get where you are today. But it's important to realize that this just makes God's love so obvious, for such a powerful being to give so much control to you. So remember that, next time you choose chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla (jk--half way.)

And yes, you may be on the path to heaven one day, only to be going in the other direction the next. We all face this. No salvation is guaranteed. You have to fight every day for Jesus. The Saints, were some of the most unsaintly guys ever-- Murderers, theives, prostitutes, liars--but they turned their lives around when they heard God's call. It's never too late on this world.

Fight the good fight, guys.

No comments:

Post a Comment