Wednesday, December 24, 2008
We always talk about self-respect. The only reason a person deserves respect from themselves is because they are human. If, therefore, they deserve respect for themselves simply because they are human then it follows that those around them deserve respect at least for the same reason. And on top of deserving respect simply because one is a human being a person may also earn respect due to their age, position, or actions. Problems arise when we do not give to others the respect they are due. For example we should be respectful enough of one another to not curse and tell dirty jokes. Our job as Catholics is to help each other (not meaning just other Catholics but all humanity) to get to Heaven. St. Paul says, in his letter to the Romans, "judge this rather, that you not put a stumbling block or a scandal in your brother's way". Curses and dirty jokes, even if they don't seem to affect you, can lead others to sin. St. Paul has made it clear that our first thought should be for those around us. Christ Himself said "It is impossible that scandals should not come: but woe to him through whom they come. It were better for him, that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should scandalize one of these little ones." I didn't say it, Jesus did. The most popular excuse for a sin is that "I'm not hurting anyone". A sin is a sin specifically because it is hurting someone whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually. The greatest sin, as Christ made clear, is that which leads another person to sin, thereby estranging them from God. It is bad enough to pull yourself away from God but to bring another with you at least doubles the crime. I had a group of friends who were obsessed with dirty jokes and after spending alot of time around them I found myself thinking about things that I don't want to think about. Now I've been led to a state of sin which I am having a long hard struggle with simply because my friends did not respect me as a friend and as a human being.