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Choosing Right or Wrong

Murder, stealing, cheating is wrong and most people accept these as wrong. But, how do you know if things are right or wrong? Is it because someone told you or you have deduced your conclusion from the dictates of your conscience?

Our Catholic Faith teaches us that in order to determine if things or an action is right or wrong, we must appeal to an authority. This authority is the ‘natural law.’ Natural law is as strong and binding as physical laws such as gravity and energy. They do not depend on our interpretation or feelings, they exist independently. As the law of gravity was true and it is still true today. We change but truth does not.

Hence, when we define murder as wrong, it is wrong regardless how angry we are, how much higher our status than the victim and it makes no difference if the person “deserves” it or not.

Reality is we choose or judge most of the times based on our emotions and feelings. We look at the person and not the issues he/she is saying. We choose one over the other in consideration of our future. We say yes even we know it is wrong because majority says yes and we don’t want to go opposite the tide.

We would even hear from our own ranks words such as: ‘What is true for you is not true for me’ -- ‘Don’t impose your values on me’ -- ‘You have no right to tell me what to do’? These words are very popular. Unfortunately, they have been taught in schools. How many teachers have you heard say, “Come on guys, don’t be scared. There is no right or wrong opinions.”

Pope Benedict XVI said: the belief that ‘the intention’ is the main criterion for judging the goodness of a person’s behaviour is ‘dangerous subjectivism’, present in the culture of moral relativism of our time. Even our very own Bp. Henry said in one of his confirmation homilies: ‘good intention is not enough.’

Abortion may be legal but it does not make it morally right. Accepting money from evil sources does not justify your intention of helping and giving to the poor. Stealing office supplies from your places of work is still wrong regardless that all others are doing it too.

It takes courage to stand apart from what is merely current or popular. More than ever as our world turns very secular we need strength to distinguish ourselves and to summon the world to God’s truth.
We may be lacking in terms of knowledge about morality, Catholic apologetics and theology. But we have a God who is committed to help us. If we learn to subject ourselves to Him in prayer and ask guidance on our everyday life, we will always find ourselves in God’s favour.

Contributed by:

Ferdie Gayos
CFC-FFL Calgary

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