LIFE, MARRIAGE & FAMILY: Following God’s law: Is there enough evidence to convict me?

By Dr Rachel Bradley, Director of the Office of Life, Marriage & Family

You’ve heard the phrase, if I was arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict me?

In the realm of family life and bioethics, the contrast between God’s law and the way of the world is very obvious. Is there enough evidence in the way we live to demonstrate that we are Catholics? If not, why not?

As a Catholic how do we make good moral decisions in these areas? In this age, it has never been easier to find out what the Church teaches about life matters such as euthanasia, abortion and IVF and the reasons for her teaching. We can all get instant access to Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church even via our phones.

Do we make the effort to understand, even if we don’t immediately grasp why the Church teaches something that is contrary to what most of society thinks of as fine? Do we even know what she actually teaches in these areas?

How do we form our consciences on these matters? Do we know the relevant Scriptures? Or are we more reliant on the surrounding culture to form us?

We live in confusing times, and we often don’t know what we don’t know, but we do have the responsibility to choose whose voice to listen to; the voice of the Good Shepherd, which speaks through the Church’s authentic magisterium, or the voice of the world which can lull our conscience to sleep.

We can tell ourselves that if everyone is doing something, it can’t be that bad or that God would surely not expect me to follow His law if the cost would be too great.

However, the Gospel tells us another story. Jesus says that following Him requires everything. We must put every aspect of our lives under His dominion.

This doesn’t mean that in our human reasoning we will always get it right, but it does mean we can’t lie to ourselves and think we are on the right track if we are totally ignoring His law.

There are no parts of our lives that we can keep for ourselves separate from God, that includes our marriages, the way we accept and bring up children, our responsibility to pass on the faith and the ways we choose not to use technologies and medical interventions that contravene God’s law.

We are asked to put our trust in God and believe that He knows what is truly best for us.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says,

“For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.” (Matthew 13:15)

Let’s pray that our hearts will be open to the voice of the Lord, that we would not allow our consciences to be lulled asleep or disregard Christ’s Church when she lights the way for us.

Tags: Life Family Marriage