Friday, April 17, 2009

Commandments Framework II

(Continued from here)

The Commandments, while initially easy to read and intellectualize, can be a deal breaker for some of us in the behavior department.

The accumulated emotional baggage of Life, in this World, attribute to our success or struggle with making conscious effort to habitualize putting others first...let alone loving our enemies. Thousands of mental health professionals make a substantial living on just making us aware of our inside-out reality. We are by culture, forced in a cycle of self absorbed maintenance routines and unless we have a natural, inherent motivation to place others first, the "love our neighbors as ourselves" Commandment requires external propulsion.

I gained my first real sense of Gratitude, and giving my time to others voluntarily by counseling Prison Inmates for some years in the 1980's. A team of 4 of us held weekly meetings in a State Prison where I learned how easily I could have been one of the "boys" in there. The taste of "getting out of myself and giving to others" was tangible, but it was overpowered by my weak ego and the feeling of freedom being able to walk out of there every week, while the inmates could not.

That's a good portion of the reason I became a Catechist. While I have done a couple decades of (secular) voluntary counseling, and it clearly benefited others, my motives weren't entirely pure. Since then, after sincerely practicing a Faith for some years, I have enjoyed a gift of valuing others in a deeper sense and what better way to love my neighbor than to hand them what I found to be the highest truth. It becomes effortless, unconditional and therefore infinitely valuable to me. Still it is only a micron of what depth of sacrifice is contained in Christs example of living in harmony, community and unity.

The path is clear, the Church is ready, the people are thirsty and we have the tools to begin obeyance. The price is zero yet the yield is unmeasurable.