It is often referred to as, the Culture of Death. We call it that because abortion is on the rise, assisted suicide is normalized, and because there is justification for death above life and if you don’t believe me take a look at the story of Alfie Evans here (I want to add this, though, the link I provided is biased and it is biased against what I believe in, but I still think it paints a picture of the “Culture of Death”). Governments all over this world are seeking to destroy Christianity because apparently Science has proven God doesn’t exist. It hasn’t! Society believes it though, because they’re not willing to dig into the other side.
When you’re in disagreement with someone, it is best to come to your own conclusion. You can do this by listening attentively on what your “opponent” is saying. Take notes, ask questions, and then do your research. When I began questioning my Catholic faith, I of course looked more deeply into Catholicism but I also looked into other Christian communities. Long story short, I came out on the Catholic side for lots of reasons, and I plan on continuing my research until I know everything… so I guess I’ll be researching forever. We as a society need to try and understand both sides I believe. I could be wrong, but I find it hard to believe someone who has a biased opinion, and refuses to imagine otherwise.
I think society finds it difficult to become more like Christians when they see “Christians” being very un-Christian. Are there any real Christians around anymore? Actually, it seems quite rare to meet anyone who goes to church anymore when you live in the city. Even those who claim they do attend church will skip out quite a bit because they need to rest, or they’re having a bad day, or because they just didn’t get out of bed. When trying to change the world, we must lead by example. It is very easy to miss mass, not read the bible, or to “forget” the ten commandments. we know it is easy because that’s what the majority of society is doing. They’re doing “easy”. The difficult thing to do is to be a Christian. I’ll add it is even harder to be Catholic.
What happens when we try to make life easy, especially in terms of God and faith? We try not to push others into believing anything. We teach our children to be nice to others and that means not to talk to them about God if no one wants to listen. In fact, just so we don’t get embarrassed, we really don’t teach our children everything there is to know about their faith. I’m talking directly to anyone who is Catholic here.
My opinion is this, it is tough being Catholic because the Catholic church has so many rules and traditions. No one likes to be told what to do. We have stopped teaching our children about their faith and just anticipate they’ll figure it out when they’re older. Most Catholics can’t answer why they believe in Jesus, much less what the purpose is in all those beautiful sacraments. Do you understand what is really happening in the mass? Why do we have a different bible? What books are different? What really is the deal with all those saints? Why is Mary so special? These are only a few of the thousands of questions the world has for Catholics. That world includes your children. Where are you leading them, from the church or towards it? I promise, once you start looking into these things, you’ll see how beautiful the Catholic church really is.
Friends, why is it important to mold our children in their faith? A sweet friend of mine went to a U2 concert recently. We all love U2’s music, what amazing performances! How surprised she was, though, when she heard him say, “F**k Jesus!” during the concert. Why did he feel he could say that? I’ll argue we allowed him to say it. He probably thought, there was a good percentage of people there who weren’t Christian, and another fair percentage who really only say they’re Believers, and another percentage who would be offended but wouldn’t make a big deal of it. You know, I think he was right. It would have hurt U2 to announce that proclamation twenty years ago, but today, he probably gains more followers. Without Jesus, we have no life… Culture of Death.
I read a in our Tulsa Kids magazine recently, a letter to the editor, in which a woman was angry about the magazine highlighting an author of a kid’s graphic novel, who doesn’t identify with a gender. We are going to start seeing this more and more in our schools and libraries. Our children are going to be exposed to society “norms” which aren’t in line with their faith at younger ages. Two things: 1) will your kids be ready and confident about how God made them? 2) are you ready for what happens if they’re not? How many gender boxes will there be on medical forms in a couple of years? Is it okay for our children to believe God does indeed make mistakes sometimes? Do we believe he makes mistakes? This is another contributing factor to the culture of death.
Instead of going on and on about how our culture is changing in ways that hurt us all, I want to discuss what you can do to battle it. I’ve already hinted to a few.
Know your faith. You should never stop learning about God and your relationship with him.
Encourage your children to learn. Give your kids the tools they need to feel confident in God and during troubled times. Prepare them for the real world. Our wish for our children is that they may walk tall knowing God is guiding them. Let them be friends with others who are different than they are so they can teach them about our Lord through their actions, words, and kind gestures. Our children are the future for our regions.
Seek to understand. If you don’t know where someone is coming from, you can’t likely lead them to where they need or want to be.
Be Christian. Spread a warm smile on your face as you go to and from mass. Show the non-believers what a gift it is to know God’s love. If you aren’t beaming God’s graces from your body, and showing others how great it is to be you because you Know Him, then how do you expect anyone to want to get to Know Jesus better?
Talk about the hard things. If you can’t talk about all areas of your faith, then you’ll rarely lead anyone to Him. I know people don’t like to hear about the Catholic way in terms of contraceptives, about confession, about the idea we aren’t automatically going to heaven, but it needs to be discussed.
Evangelize. Share God with others. You don’t have to shove it down anyone’s throat, but sometimes all people need is a gentle nudge. I’m not great at evangelizing, personally, but I’m working on it. I’ve probably pushed people away, but I’m working on it.
Pray. You know this. I don’t need to tell you, but I’ll remind you anyway. Just pray. When you’re not sure what to do, pray. When it all seems lost, pray.
Contrary to popular belief there are many people out there just waiting for God to show himself to them. Let them see His face in your face. Be that sense of presence for those who are seeking Him. It is imperative, now more than ever, to show more love, more understanding, and all together be more like Christ.
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” -St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta.