“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
Rules. There are definitely rules to everything in our lives. Maugham might not know the three rules for writing a novel; but, editors would definitely tell you some of their rules for composition and style. Things like not employing arcane language, not using split infinitives, not ending the sentence with a preposition, and the like, are rules that writers have to follow. Break the rules and you might not get published.
If you are a sports person, there are definitely rules to the games in which you participate. Break the rules, and you may be put out of the game. Get put out of enough games and you might be dropped from the team.
If you are an aspiring actor, there are rules to follow just to try out for a part. If you do not go through the proper channels and do things just so, you might find getting a part extremely difficult. If you make waves once you get in, you might find that you are never cast again.
Just as there are rules for everything that we do in life, there are spiritual rules for our spiritual lives. Jesus told us what the rules were when He emphasized the importance of embracing the Ten Commandments. He refined the rules even more when He said that the utmost rule was to love — love God with all our soul, all our strength, all our mind and to love our neighbor as our self. If we break the rules given to us by God, there are ramifications. If we break them badly enough, the ramifications might be eternally dire.
As there are remedies for when we break any rule in life, Jesus gave us a remedy for when we break the spiritual rules of life: the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In giving the Apostles the authority to forgive sins, Jesus entrusted to us His healing and merciful love. We are not perfect beings by any stretch of the imagination. The good news is that we can always come to God when we sin against Him and ask for His forgiveness and for the opportunity to begin all over again.
Know the rules. Follow the rules. And, when you break the rules, get right with God.
FAITH ACTION: If you have broken some of the Lord’s rules, consider going to confession today.