Monday, July 09, 2018

“Idols for Themselves” by Melanie Rigney (@melanierigney)

“Idols for Themselves” by Melanie Rigney (@melanierigney)

Thus says the LORD: They made kings in Israel, but not by my authority; they established princes, but without my approval. With their silver and gold, they made idols for themselves, to their own destruction. (Hosea 8:4)

The house of Israel trusts in the Lord. (Psalm 115:9)

At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so, ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” (Matthew 9:36-38)

Very Bread, good Shepherd, tend us, Jesus, of Thy love befriend us, Thou refresh us, Thou defend us, Thine eternal goodness send us in the land of life to see. Thou Who all things canst and knowest, Who on earth such food bestowest, Grant us with Thy Saints, though lowest, here the heavenly feast Thou shewest, Fellow-heirs and guests to be. (From Catholic Online)

Oh, the idols in our lives.

It seems like every time we manage to tear one down, another pops up its little head. It’s like playing Whac-A-Mole, and the seeming futility can be wearing.

Add caption
This year, I ended my at-least-once-and-sometimes three-times-a-day iced venti decaf skinny mocha habit (yes, in excess of fifteen dollars a day on the three timers; go ahead and judge). My new food idol is Medjool dates, and while they’re not as expensive, they are just as addictive and have a whole lot more calories.

I stopped watching most of my guilty-pleasure TV shows (read: true-crime and “documentaries” like Hoarding: Buried Alive) and have replaced those time-suckers with a silly little game called “Farm Heroes Saga” on my phone.

Now, I don’t suppose any of these things are bad in and of itself, and I’m pretty sure the Lord wouldn’t object to me having the occasional iced coffee, Medjool date or hour in front of the TV or on my phone. But when they become obsessions or compulsions, they become false gods. They rob us of time with Him and with our communities. They take up space in our budget and body and brain that we could use better elsewhere.

In today’s first reading, the Lord warns the Israelites that “when they sow the wind, they shall reap the whirlwind.” It’s a good reminder that puffing ourselves up with our wants and pleasures has consequences. May we receive the grace and courage to root out our idols before they destroy us and our relationship with Him.

Have you replaced one false idol with another? Consider discussing this during confession.

Image credit: Credit is: By Mcal2015 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons (,_Coney_Island.jpg)

No comments: