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  • Sarah Raad

Decalogue

If we can live God’s words in our lives, we can show our Love for Him.

Moses and the Ten Commandments (Rembrandt)

I have been praying very much for many souls. The Lost Souls of Purgatory feature in my prayers and I find myself coming back to reflect on them many times in my day. Perhaps it is God’s way of showing me that there is work yet to be done.


Sometimes – though I enjoy it – I become tired of writing and I feel weary and despairing as I am tempted stop and rest. Suddenly, it becomes very attractive to me to watch television or listen to music or simply just have a seat on the couch and do nothing at all. Knowing my weakness very well, when this happens, I follow the advice of Saint Faustina, and living in the present moment, I give my troubles to God and… Every. Single. Time. He helps me. Just when I think to myself, should I just give up altogether, I receive a message from somewhere unexpected saying something along the lines of… “I liked what I read today, thank you…”. Because there is no rest except in Him – He who is the Prince of Peace!


And I go to my desk and get back to work…


I was thinking of this today, as I reflected on the First Reading from Mass yesterday. Yesterday, the First Reading was a detailing of what we now commonly call the “Ten Commandments”, though they were never called that in the Bible itself (Exodus 20:1-17+). In the Bible, these commandments were instead referred to as a Decalogue, which means “Deca” (ten) and “logue” (words), “ten words” because they are not COMMANDS from a Master to His slave – but rather WORDS to live by from a Father to His child.


The homily that I heard yesterday has stayed in my mind, because it was very beautiful, and I shall try – very inexpertly – to summarise what I learned.


This Decalogue is given to a free people who are already free, “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” (Exodus 20:1). This shows us that God is not giving orders to slaves, but He is giving words to a free people so that we can make the choice to live according to these words as His CHILDREN.


These words are what children of God should use live God’s love in our lives through our relationships with God, with others and with things. It is through this that others will know that we are children of God.


But they are not mere words – they are far more than words, because they demonstrate our relationship with God. This Decalogue are words given in the context of our ETERNAL DIALOGUE with God – our COVENANT – our eternal conversation and constant dialogue with God.

That idea of eternal dialogue is fixed in my mind because it reminds me of my vocation of motherhood.

Motherhood is often described as the most difficult job in the world. I do not believe that. I believe that there are far more difficult jobs that people could do, which require far more skills and far more effort.


However, what I do believe is that there is probably no job in the world that is as relentless or thankless as motherhood. I find myself having the same conversation with the same child over and over and over again – for years – hearing only complaints and total disregard for the message that I am trying to convey. And yet, I will not give up – for LOVE of them – I will never give up. I often think that I shall continue to utter the same words until my dying breath.


Sound familiar?


Of course, it does! We are made in God’s image!


This natural stubbornness of mothers – of parents – in the formation of our children is our INHERITANCE from God. The thanklessness of our children is our REMINDER that we too are thankless children of a BELOVED FATHER.


And yet, how wonderful for us that as Saint John Vianney reminds us, “Our sins are nothing but a grain of sand along the great mountain of the mercy of God.”


Because as children of God, we can love Him and thank Him all the days of our lives, simply by living His WORDS – His DECALOGUE – all the days of our lives.


For with prayer, everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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