Yesterday we saw how Lent is a great time for cleaning out the Temple of our own hearts. One of the best ways to do that is to go back to the basics of the Ten Commandments.
Let’s begin by looking at the first three. The first three commandments have to do with the question of one’s fundamental spiritual orientation: who, or what, precisely, is the object of your worship? What do you hold to be spiritually basic? If we’re honest, a lot of us would say something like money, pleasure, power, honor, or to sum all of this up, our own egos. And so we need to hear the very first commandment: “I am the Lord your God; you shall not have other gods besides me.”
Next, you shall not disrespect God with your speech, for this leads rather quickly to a denigration of God: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” This can seem fussy and puritanical, as though “swearing” is a terrible sin. But speech is a terribly powerful thing. What we say influences profoundly how we think and act, which in turn shapes our attitudes and behaviors.
Thirdly, you must worship God on a regular basis. There is no place for the attitude of “I’m alright with God; I just have no time for going to Mass.” Or “I get nothing out of the Mass.” We’re obliged to concretize our worship: “Keep holy the Sabbath day.”
What shape is the Temple of your soul in with regard to these first three commandments?