If you read the works of the saints, or their biographies, you can see that they were aware of a truth that America has forgotten—sin is real and it alienates us from God. Instead, America (or, rather the whole of Western civilization) has a bad habit of presuming that God “doesn’t care” about the action we do that falls under the category of sin. As a result, we have an understanding about sin that is both self-contradictory and has nothing to do with the reality:
- When others do something we dislike, we have no qualms about acknowledging it as a sin.
- When we do something that is a sin, we refuse to acknowledge it as a sin and call it an arbitrary decision made by human beings that doesn’t matter to God.
In other words, while people are perfectly willing to denounce others, the fact is that, instead of thinking rationally about the good or evil of our actions we contemplate doing, we rationalize the things we already do to avoid thinking about whether they are good or evil or rationalize a reason not to do what we ought to do.
This mindset actually convicts the person before God—because we call the actions of others “sin” or “wrongdoing,” we acknowledge that there is a good which must be lived and an evil which must be avoided. But because we refuse to apply this knowledge to ourselves, we show ourselves to be hypocrites and evildoers.
Being a Christian today—at least one who takes a position contrary to what is currently favored culturally—is becoming an unpopular and potentially dangerous stand to take. While society is stressing the importance of being nice, and not saying anything negative about someone we disagree with (except when directed against said Christians), we are unpopular because we say “This is wrong, and cannot be done.” To which, the world says “Stop judging, you bigot!” (completely unaware of the self-contradiction). The impression one gets is that society would be perfectly willing to welcome us back into the fold if we would stop being so obstinate and go along with what they hold.
If the society was the source of determining what was right and wrong, then it would be foolish of us to be countercultural. Under such a view, whoever rejected the mores of society would be a hateful person. But this is where the problem lies. Christianity cannot accept society as the source of determining right and wrong. Indeed, we know that societies have a bad habit of going very wrong. In America, our mistreatment of American Indians and African-Americans give us examples of behavior that cannot be considered good even though society once favored it. The totalitarian dictatorships of history give us examples of behavior we cannot condone. So there has to be a source for determining right and wrong which is outside of society. Otherwise, when a new group is in power, people will find themselves without grounds to protest actions they find offensive. And society, in the name of freedom, is rapidly undercutting the pillars that support freedom. They do this by saying, “Stop trying to push your values on us!” while pushing their values on others.
Prayer is essential. How many times have you heard that, but wondered just how essential is it really? Or, what’s in it for me to pray? How many times have you prayed and heard silence? How many times have you given up on prayer, because your prayers weren’t answered the way you wanted?
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we look to quotations from Saint John Damascene and Psalm 130:1 to define prayer:
Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God. But when we pray, do we speak… Read more…
Persevere in Faith
To persevere in Faith, “we must nourish it with the Word of God.”1 That means that we need to read Scripture. The more we become acquainted with the Word of God, the more we come to know God, trust God and love God. Through the nourishment of the Word, we are able to believe in Him and all that He promises. This helps us to grow in trusting the Lord. Yet there are times when He is silent, and during these times we quickly feel abandoned. It is at these times that we must persevere in Faith. We must trust in God’s timing, and never give up. Read more…
The Supreme Court has ruled today legalizing “same sex marriage” in a very poorly reasoned decision. This is something a Christian cannot support in good faith. Of course we believe that we are called to treat each individual with all the love and respect that is due a human person. But that love we are called to does not mean that we are required to recognize a morally bad act as if it were good. Therefore we deny that our actions are motivated by hatred when we say that homosexual acts are wrong. However, people will accuse us of hatred anyway.
Because those political and cultural elites have decided that the only moral wrong is “hatred,” and because they decide that any action or belief they dislike is “hatred,” it stands to reason that we will become social pariahs in society. I fully expect that families will be divided as Our Lord warned in Matthew:
34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. 35 For I have come to set
a man ‘against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
36 and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’ (Matthew 10:34-36)
For children, waiting for anything seems endless! Faith Livingstone would agree, having just moved to a new town, and about to enter a new school. Faith wants so badly to make new friends. She wants to feel like she belongs in her new surroundings. It all can’t happen fast enough for Faith. Journey with Faith as she struggles to make new friends; yet, learns the value of the virtue of patience in the process.
You can learn more info about Adventures of Faith, Hope and Charity – Finding Patience here and here.
Be Patient! Just Be Patient! Oh my goodness – how many times have you heard that line, or better yet, delivered that line to your children? If you are like me, you have heard it over and over again; and if a mom or dad, delivered it over and over again. However, that is exactly what we need to do; be patient and let things work themselves out in accordance with God’s will and His timeline. He calls us to stick with it and persevere. How can we even think of persevering (another virtue) without patience? If we become impatient… Read more…
Waiting on the Lord can be tough at times, especially in times of stress. Waiting on the Lord to provide sustenance, or direction, can seem like suffering in itself. Whether it is periods of unemployment, or waiting for medical results, the clock ticks slowly and it is easy for impatience to surface.
Patience requires an ability to corral our emotions, exercising composure and self-control (another virtue and fruit of the Holy Spirit). Saint Francis de Sales stated it best regarding why we should embrace patience, when he said:
…the more perfect our patience, the more perfectly do we possess our… Read more…
Patience in an up-tempo world – what a contradiction! The technology advances of the 20th century created an expectation for obtaining things NOW. With that, the virtue of patience seems to have fallen by the wayside. Does anyone even remember what it was like to be patient? Remember when you had to wait for the new school year to start to get some new clothes and shoes? Or do you remember waiting until your birthday to get that toy you really wanted? Or best yet, do you remember in the “olden” days when you actually waited until you saved… Read more…
Fear has no place in the heart, because it doesn’t come from God. Fear is used by the devil to keep us from doing God’s will. The devil will attempt to make us doubt our abilities, especially the ability to be courageous. How do we effectively shut the devil out and listen only to God? How do we become courageous?
We start with these five steps:
Ask the Lord to make His presence known to you in your heart; so that you know He is always with you, and will never leave you. “Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed; I am your God. I will strengthen… Read more…