The law of the Lord is perfect,Psalm 19:7-10
reviving the soul;
the decrees of the Lord are sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is clear,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is pure,
the ordinances of the Lord are true
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey,
and drippings of the honeycomb.
According to Psalm 19, the laws of the Lord are wholly lovable. They are perfect, reviving, sure, a source of wisdom, right, a cause for joy, clear, enlightening, pure, enduring, true, righteous, desirable, and sweet. No matter the laws of your country, would anyone praise them like this?
When most people look at the Catholic Church, they cringe at all the laws. (We have 2000 year’s worth!) I have sympathy; it is not always obvious how the laws and beliefs of the Church lead to happiness. As a society, we refuse to blindly follow without understanding.
Still, I love the laws of the Lord. All of them. They challenge us to a higher happiness than we could have achieved on our own.
Laws of hope
Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence.1 Peter 3:15-16
What are the reasons for my hope? The laws of the Lord! They promise so much more than they ask; they promise a deeper joy in this life and a kingdom of joy in the next.
Looking at a few examples might help.
The requirement for chastity before marriage (complete abstinence from sex) and during marriage (sex only with your spouse) speaks to a life where sex has meaning. It is a profound “Yes” every time, no holding back, no reservations. It promotes a world where sex is the physical sign of unconditional love.
Marriage until death is a good because marriage means something. The promise we make in marriage is really binding. Love is really forever. It is a sign that working on ourselves and our marriages will bear good fruit. It is also a promise from God that we must hope, even in those cases that are impossible to fix on earth.
The Church’s stance on life issues boils down to one principle: human life matters. God loves each and every one of us, whether society does, whether our parents or children do, whether we love ourselves. God is the source of our belief that where there is life, there is hope. Whether the issue is abortion or euthanasia, whether the decision rests on love or meaning in our pain, He will be there to support life and bring hope.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,Isaiah 55:8-9
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
We have a God who promises us these things. This is His Truth. To follow His law is to hope against hope, to trust even when the world tells us not to. His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are our ways His ways. These are words of comfort. For it is His ways that will triumph. The ways of mankind will vanish.