Why are the rules the opposite of what we want?

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I am sure we have all heard of or thought of this. Why did God make the rules opposite to “human nature.” ie look but dont touch, if it feels good dont do it etc. Why does He make it so hard? I get this a lot from my atheist friends and i wonder about it too. Just want some opinions. Thanks
Dear ni8,

Context is everything. And everything has a context. God created human nature with an appetite for Himself. We all hunger for Him and ultimately only He can satisfy us. Within this appetite for the ultimate Good which is God, lie the appetites for many lesser goods that are necessary for our life as human beings. So we have an appetite for food that will nourish us. This is a good thing. We can look and we can definitely touch. But as good as food is, it is not the ultimate good. It can do us harm if we eat too much of it. So at times, we don’t look and we don’t touch.

So with sexual pleasure. In the context of marriage where God joins a husband and wife in producing the next generation of human beings, such pleasure is a good thing and serves as a strong encouragement for married couples to continue the human race. But the pleasure of sex like the pleasure of eating was not created for itself. Both make sense only in their proper context. When the pleasure of sex is pulled out of its pro-creative context and sought only for itself, it becomes a matter of self indulgence, rather than of self-giving.

If we are willing to honestly look at the purpose and context of such pleasures, then we have to curb our pleasures in order to fully appreciate them for what they are.

There is a tendency in us, as the result of original sin, to make gods of ourselves and turn all the goods in our lives toward our own self indulgence. But then, where does this leave God in the scheme of things? It leaves Him out. But He is the designer and he is all Good. There is no original sin in Him. It’s not His fault that Adam and Eve fell.

It is through the struggle with the tension between our tendency toward selfishness and selflessness that we are able to grow in our love for Him. And this is why we have this tension. It is for our own good. The more we love Him, the happier we will ultimately be. It is no doubt, difficult. BUT……He is worth it!

This, by the way, is not merely my own opinion, but what the Church actually teaches.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.
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