Friday, January 21, 2011

"Robust Morality"

I drove home late tonight from the office enjoying one of my favorite past-times: listening to talk radio. My favorites include the regulars, Sean, Rush, Laura Ingram. But occasionally I like to land on - cover your eyes Mom - NPR. I know, right! A conservative listening to a liberal leaning and biased news source? Believe it! It's good to hear both sides, you know. Anyways, I digress ...

NPR was reporting on a story out of Italy about a major leader caught in sex scandals and something having to do with an underage teenager. Fact or fiction, that's not the point.  What is my point is the phrase that was stated in this release from the Vatican's Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's secretary of state and ranking church official after Pope Benedict XVI:

"'The Church pushes and invites everyone, above all those who hold public responsibility in any administrative, political and judicial area, to be committed to a more robust morality, a sense of justice and lawfulness.'"

Robust morality. That phrase grabbed me. Stuck with me. Imprinted itself on my brain. Why you might ask.

Perhaps because it is rare. How sad that I live in a day and a culture where the world "morality" itself is like a foreign morsel that I twirl around on my tongue, saving and considering it's experience.

I can hear you now: "But the Catholic church has been guilty of sex scandals. How can they promote robust morality?!"

Well let me take this moment to proudly defend the Catholic Church and it's members. Did you know that those within this church are humans? Do you think that those in other faiths do not make mistakes too? (By the way, some of the finest people in my world are those who are devout Catholics, ones who - like the Vatican leaders -  speak on behalf of chastity, purity, faithfulness, sound marriages, the preservation of the very sanctity of life, not only in words but also in actions.)

Robust Morality. Whatever happened to a world that morals were the ideal? The standard? The expected? Is it really too much for any of us to aim to pursue that lifestyle and bring it back to our culture? And no, I do not believe it's too late.

I believe that morality is an absolute truth, based on the foundation of truth which would be God's truth and whether we admit it or not, that absolute truth is written on our hearts from the very creation of time. And it does not change. It is the standard. It is the example to live by for the best life. And if the truth doesn't change, perhaps we should return to following that truth, as a culture. If we did, not only as a generation, but we started to show our nieces and nephews, neighborhood friends, fellow Church goers and co-workers - and even strangers - that absolute truth is really true and worth following, perhaps we would start to bring our country back to a place of honoring and blessing God once again.

Oh and one more thing: do you know one of my most favorite parts of God? His redemption. I love it that no matter what we've done, whether a Church leader, or a poor man on the street, or a successful business woman or mom, or a husband or kid, God forgives. He redeems. He gives us beauty for ashes.

His truth never changes and neither does His love for us. Robust morality. Truth. May it be our standard once again. To live it and promote it is sure to bring us God's blessings. Let the real living start now.