18 February 2021

We start with a choice

Thursday after Ash Wednesday

Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP

St. Dominic Priory, NOLA

Life is complicated. There are no black/white choices. Just big gray areas. Truth is what we make it, what works. These are all standard, American slogans that we've probably heard all our lives. And there is some truth in them. But, if there are no B/W choices, then we have to allow for the possibility that, in some cases, B/W choices are all we have (cf. self-referential incoherence). Here enters Moses, saying to God's people: Today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and doom.” Love God. Obey God. Walk with Him, keeping His commandments and you will live and prosper. Deny God. Love alien gods. Walk away from Him, disobeying His commandments and you will surely die and wither in the land. “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse.” That's pretty B/W. This is what Lent is about. Making that fundamental choice btw life and death eternal. Jesus says we must lose our life to save it. We must choose our cross. The gray moral areas, the complications, the practicalities that torture reason and logic will come. They always do. But at the foundation of these complexities is a B/W choice that each one of us must make: do I want eternal life or eternal dying? Do I want to prosper or wither away? Do I want God's blessing or His curse? Life is complicated. But we don't start with a problem. We start with a choice. 

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