I have been eating in a cafeteria for the past few weeks. The buffet is a tempting death trap – pick what you want, as much as you want, and only what you want. I am the master of my own culinary consumption – which is more or less true at restaurants or at home, but the cafeteria buffet line takes it to levels beyond what any human can take. The number of choices and pleasures one can tantalize overwhelms any fledgling amount of moderation he has developed. It isn’t fair. And it is not the place for man to dwell.
In the end, it is the ability to choose on a whim, as one pleases, that ultimately contributes to the downfall of him. No need to heed any authority or guidance from the knowledge of what is good for the soul or body – simply doing what one pleases. In our day, there are too many men who do this with their Catholic Christian faith. There are too many of us that pick and choose what to believe and follow based on a whim, a desire, a taste. Too many of us have chosen to obey the self rather that the Almighty. We have chosen to trust our own wavering lack of omniscience rather that trust the Holy Spirit and His bride the Church.
Why do we claim a faith yet treat it as a buffet line in the cafeteria? How is it possible to say Jesus is Lord yet only take 85% (or whatever percent we claim) of what He and His Bride the Church give us? Well, a few thoughts:
Fear. I did it once because I was afraid. I heard the sound of the world and fearfully followed where she led me. I was weak.
Confusion. The Church teaches a lot of stuff. Some of it is rather complex. I might be confused about a teaching, or not fully understand it. It is easier to say “whatever” to the teaching rather than seek clarity.
If you are choosing from the buffet line, what is your motive? Here are a few questions that might be worth contemplating:
- What is the root reason I don’t I trust the Church in general, and on particular topics?
- Why am I not convinced that the presence of the Holy Spirit is advantageous for me, as the Lord promised (“Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” John 16:7)
- What aspects of my lifestyle are preventing me from surrendering my life to Jesus Christ?
- Is fear getting in the way? If so, why?
- Am I confused about something or having doubts? Have I sought out answers?
The greatest force in the world are men (and women) who live with complete abandonment to our Lord AND His Bride, the Church. Let’s leave the buffet line.