“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill”
This reading from Matthew reminded me of the lasting endurance of the law, which Christ came “not to abolish, but to fulfill.” Nonetheless, I’ve heard reflections lately which tend to lay aside the importance of following rules. I am a bit uncomfortable with this.
They comment that love and service are primary, and this is so. However, I don’t think we can use “love” as a reason to disregard and throw out the value of following rules.
When I look at a rule given to be followed, its merit lies in who has given this rule. What authority is involved? If I do not follow this directive, who am I disobeying?
Some people even belittle the following of liturgical directives, reducing it to empty rigidity, but might we look a bit closer at this?
When we disregard Church directives in favor of our own whims, we are disregarding Christ’s authority mediated to us through the Church.
Who gave these directives? The Church. By what authority? That given her by Christ.
Also, why are there directives? To help enhance and guide our worship of God. What can be more important than this? After all, we were created to know, love, serve, and be with Him.
On a more positive note, when we follow these directives, we are actually showing our love and respect for Christ.
A similar train of thought may be followed in obeying other legitimate authority, remembering that all authority comes from God.
I think this is a helpful way of looking at following rules. We should do so with the above motive in mind. We are doing it for love of Christ, who said “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
We also remember that His main commandment was love.
This love must direct all of our actions.