Do you believe in coincidence? Take for example the 10 Commandments given to us through Moses. Then take the 2 Commandments given to us through Christ’s teaching. Do you believe Moses and Jesus were just random people given random messages, or do you believe that God had a plan in mind?
Read 2 Corinthians, Chapter 3 and note the differences between the The 10 Commandments delivered by Moses and the 2 commandments delivered by Christ.
Moses’ Message: Christ’s Message:
10 Commandments 2 Commandments
Trumped All Past Laws Upheld 10 Commandments
Written on Stone Written in Hearts
Thou Shalt Not… Thou Shall…
I’m sure there are many other similarities and differences, but as I started reflecting on these, I realized with total certainty that there were specific reasons those specific messages were given at those particular time, to those particular people.
Each message was given to the people at the time when they most needed to hear it.
The Jewish people had lost their hope and faith.
They were tired, weary of fleeing, weary of oppression, weary of hopelessness.
The Jewish people had strayed so far from where God intended them to be that they had completely forgotten how the power and glory of God is reflected in those who live by His ways. The Lord had just brought them out of slavery, and yet they had already forgotten to live by Him.
As a mom of five boys would say, They needed some serious grounding in reality before they could go on.
Moses, by delivering the tablets containing the 10 Commandments, reminded them of God’s expectations and justice; there was no excusing their behavior.
God’s expectations were written in stone.
The people needed to re-learn to live according to God’s plan,
and they did – for while.
And then we strayed again. The morals, the laws, the good the Father tried to give us in the 10 Commandments was slowly eroded away, little bit by little bit so it was hardly noticeable and easily excused – until it was gone (Are you already seeing parallels to society today?)
Corruption and sinfulness crept back into the hearts of the people,
but we already had the 10 Commandments
so God sent us something even more powerful than stone – His Son, Jesus Christ.
We needed Jesus to come into the world.
to give us a living example of how to live out God’s 10 Commandments and
to save us from our own self-destruction.
How This All Relates to Us Today:
Jesus and Moses lived over 2000 years ago.
Other than knowing I should follow the Commandments, how does this apply to me, to my life as a divorced Christian, to my life as a divorced Catholic?
What we have to remember is that, just as early Jewish people were given Moses and the 10 Commandments and later Jewish people were given Jesus and His commandments to Love, so too God gives us what we need when we need it; even when we feel like we don’t deserve it and are downtrodden.
Marriage is a sacred covenant, but it is also restricting in some ways. We no longer live for ourselves, for our community, or for our God. Bettering the world is suddenly of less concern than bettering our homes. Many of us turn over our spiritual lives and volunteer work over to new concerns: bridal shower gifts, home decorating, child rearing, and more.
All worthy and fun “concerns,” but not necessarily God-focused, world-betterment concerns.
The death of the marriage, whether it is through sudden abandonment or the slow erosion of self-esteem, causes many individuals to turn inward focusing on themselves rather than on previous ideals. Concerns about finances, childcare, and housing arrangements are just some of the many serious and real concerns facing divorced Catholics today. To add to that, many divorced individuals question their self-worth, their ability to contribute, and their energy do so.
What if we changed our thinking instead?
Jesus came to change our thinking. Whereas before our rules were written in stone, now Jesus came to very clearly write on our hearts. What if we allowed Him to do so, even post-divorce?
What if we returned to those pre-marriage ideals many of us carried in our hearts, to the plans we half-formed in our mind’s youthful optimism, and we applied them to our new divorced life, with our new divorced person’s deeper understanding and empathy?
Think of how many hearts we could write on?
Each of us already writes on the hearts of other’s every day.
The question is, what will we write?
Will we write with our negativity, the wrongs done to us, the hurt we’ve suffered,
or will we write with the 10 Commandments of Moses, bettering another’s life – but limiting her at the same time,
or will we choose to write with the Commandments of Jesus, loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. First we must learn again to truly love ourselves and, even before that, to love God above all things?
What choice is there? What choice will you make? Free will allows you to make the decision.
In many ways, marriage, a beautiful and sacred commitment, a precious gift when blessed by the Lord, is often limiting in our time, energy, and abilities. Being a single parent is even more limiting in many ways, but being a divorced Catholic opens many doors allowing us to use our time, energy, resources, empathy, and newly-made hearts to better the world.
Instead of dwelling on the death of your marriage, focus on the new life, the new freedom, the new opportunities this has brought to you.
Will you choose to walk through those now open doors?
What will you choose to write on the hearts of others?
How can another be changed by what you write?
I’d love to hear your comments and ideas.