Over at Open Book, I read a comment that basacally opined that the song "My Way" was the most anti-Christian song of the last several decades. I am inclined to agree.
For about 5 years in the 1980s I taught a name brand method of childbirth education that shall remain nameless here. (I am not interested in having the heirs to that name brand hunt me down and harass me for taking their TM in vain.) It's a very effective methodology, and I have no issues with its precepts (which btw are extremely politically incorrect). One of the things I remember from the main 'textbook' are quotes from two then-current TV ad campaigns. One was the margarine commercial "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature", and the other was the Burger King slogan "Have it your way". The basic concept of this childbirth method is that there is indeed a right way to go about the process of pregnancy and birth. If one subverts the process, bad things happen. I think that in Catholic circles, we would call this "Natural Law". God has written, on our very bodies, the truths of our humanity and how it relates to our eternal souls and our eventual destination.
The Pope has expanded on this in his monumental "Theology of the Body". I'm about 30% of the way through Christopher West's 10 CD set "Naked Without Shame" which is a weekend of teaching on the TOTB. It's dense, and I feel as if I am only getting maybe the top 10% of what I am hearing and am trying to learn. It has been a worthwhile struggle, though, and I recommend the 10 CD set to anyone who has long commutes.
What I learned about childbirth and have also tried to apply to the rest of my life (and it is indeed a struggle!) is that instead of seeking to have it "My Way" I should be seeking to have it God's Way. The (oft hidden and forgotten) truth is that there are absolute truths, and those who seek after knowledge are called not to invent but to discover. There are items that are a matter of taste but the more I learn about how intricately God has intertwined His creation, the more I realize how few decisions are simply taste rather than truth. For example, I may prefer lavender (calming) scent to citrus (stimulating), but the effects of each of these on my brain chemistry is profoundly different. And just because I happen to prefer to eat starchy foods swimming in butter does not mean that these are the healthiest foods for my body. Denying the truths that God has written in our bodies and on our souls will have consequences, often negative consequences, and it may be years or decades before I recognize the connection (if indeed I ever do).
Take music as another example. We are coming in to Lent, and that means that many of us will be subjected to the words and music of the 'hymn' "Ashes". Music, especially with a catchy tune, is a very effective way to burn memories on the brain. I bet that most of us learned the order of the alphabet by singing it, and there is a generation of adults that learned grammar and math facts from singing along with "Schoolhouse Rock". What is the message of "Ashes"? "We rise again from ashes" - sounds to me like the Phoenix legend, or possibly a version of re-incarnation. Not particularly Catholic or Christian, to my way of thinking. Compare that with my favorite Lenten Hymn, "Forty Days and Forty Nights". verse 2:
"Should not we thy sorrow share
and from worldly joys abstain,
fasting with unceasing prayer,
strong with thee to suffer pain?"
Is that not more in line with what we are called to do?
This Lent, let us "just say no" to the Burger King mentality. Dear Lord, grant us the grace to echo the words of Jesus in His passion:
"Not my will, Father, but Your will be done".