Amos 5: 23-24: “Away with your noisy songs! I will not listen to the melodies of your harps. But if you would offer me burnt offerings, then let justice surge like water, and goodness like an unfailing stream.”
Today is the celebration of Independence Day which is cause for celebration and gratitude for the independence I have been granted in this country. Today’s celebration of our independence as a country from unjust rule has reminded me of my independence from pornography addiction that began on October 7th of 2004. I first want to reflect more on the meaning of the word independence. Independence is when the people of a nation, state, or city begin to self-govern the place they live. With addiction, the ability to self-govern is lost because the addiction takes away the power to govern one’s life in a healthy manner and control is lost. One thing that helped me to self-govern my addiction and become free from its unjust rule is spoken of in the reading from Amos. I was very much like the people of Israel, performing external ritual worship like attending Mass and performing required fasting abstinence periods, but my worship lacked any relation to interior morality and justice. In fact, I was still serving the false God of pornography and all the false worship that accompanied that practice, and I lacked true compassion and mercy for those around me. My service to others and worship to God was in reality self-serving, a noisy song to God, and kept me dependent to my addiction and its unjust rule. My independence from addiction and the slavery of self-service began with understanding and accepting God’s commandments. I have learned that God’s commandments are just and merciful, and God asks me to follow them because they are for my good. Following God’s commandments has allowed me to self-govern and to show others by example how to self-govern and be free. This was all made possible because I came to believe that a power greater than myself, that is God, could restore my ability to govern my life with His just rules. His will, or His rules, not mine be done. Amen.