Since When Has the Faith Become Convenient?

Look around you.  I would bet that almost everything has been engineered for your convenience.  Looking around the room I’m in, there is a ladder going up to a bunk bed to make it easier to get up there.  I’m sitting in a chair designed to make me comfortable.  There is a closet so I can find my clothes quicker.  I’m typing on a laptop that can bring me news from around the world in a split second.  This laptop can allow me to communicate with my Grandparents 891 miles away without leaving my home.

Wherever humans go, they change their environment to make life easier.  We cut down trees and build dams.  We build towns and cities and nations.  We invent new things to make life even more comfortable.  We built cars, manufactured airplanes, created computers and cell phones.  We domesticate almost everything to suit our needs.  And now, we have started to domesticate Christianity.  Nowadays, Jesus is just a “nice guy” and “a good teacher”.  People believe whatever they want, usually whatever they want to be correct.  Ever heard of Cafeteria Catholicism?  I want this Jesus-loaf, and maybe a bit of that Church-cream.  Ooh, that Heaven-cobbler looks great!  Ew, that morality stuff makes me feel sick.  Yah, I don’t want a Pope-roll.  Finish it off with a Whatever-the-heck-I-want-Cola.

Gone are the days when people were picky about their beliefs and would eat anything their parents gave them.  No, nowadays people believe whatever their friends or the media tells them, and will only eat like four things without throwing a fit.  My generation has gotten so used to having everything made easy for them.  For instance, at band camp, some people fake injuries when they don’t feel like running anymore.  People only do their homework when they feel like it.  The list goes on and on.

Conveniences like plumbing and electric lighting are definitely useful.  To be honest, I wouldn’t last a week without air conditioning during the summer.  But when you try to make everything easy, that’s where you go wrong.  Some things aren’t meant to be easy!  You don’t get a Gold Medal at the Olympics for showing up in the uniform.  You don’t get a college scholarship for just going to high school.  And you don’t get to heaven just going to church when you feel like it.  Sometimes we forget that we are the Church Militant, not the Church Comfy.

Mass isn’t supposed to be fun, it is supposed to be a prayer.

16692_137476246402126_1068780111_nNone of the Saints got to Heaven by doing whatever they felt like doing?  Look at any Saint in the History of Christianity.  Name one of them who didn’t suffer in some way.  Cricket…Cricket.  And the Saints are role-models for us.  So if you are being persecuted by our culture for your Catholic faith, take heart!  Your doing something right.  If you are not, you need to either thank God for living in a perfect world, or reëxamine what you believe.

Birth Control was made for the convenience of parents who didn’t want kids.  Divorce exists for the convenience of spouses who no longer wanted to be around each other.  Abortion usually takes place in the failure of birth control, again, for the convenience of parents who don’t want their kids.  People are changing the liturgy to make it more convenient for them or prospective converts.  People, even bishops, are trying to change church doctrine for various reasons (Story).

I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t want a comfortable church that lets me do what I want.  That’s kind of like a parent who won’t tell their child not to go out on a busy street.  It’s the Church’s job to protect and guard its flock.  Jesus told Peter to “feed my sheep”, not to let them do what they want so you can be popular.  The thing is, when my parents protect their kids from various thing, kids tend not to like it.  I once tried to buy a violent video game, and I was extremely angry when I was told I couldn’t get it.  No matter how long I wouldn’t talk or through a fit or shouted or whatever else I could cook up, my parents wouldn’t budge.  That needs to be what the church does.  No matter how much people want to go out on a busy street to play with their friends on the road, the parents cannot let them do it.

Our morality cannot be defined by us, or by circumstance.  Morality comes from God, and God alone.  We cannot make it for ourselves.  Since God made morality, it can’t be circumstantial.  Killing someone is wrong, regardless if you are doing it because you want, or because someone tells you to do it (cough planned parenthood cough).

Whether you like it or not, we are on a battleship, not a cruise liner.  That doesn’t mean we have to be morbid and pessimistic though.  We can still be happy, in fact, we are called to be joyful in this life.  But that doesn’t mean we aren’t in a fight.  Most of you have heard of the Planned Parenthood video about selling aborted body parts.  It’s nothing new.  That’s what PP does.  The #WomenBetrayed Pro-Life Rally was one of the biggest in history.  It is calling for an end to the Government’s funding of Planned Parenthood.  However, Obama still vows to veto anything that would accomplish that goal.

We have to take a stand.  Nothing is convenient about that.  I am lighting the beacons of Gondor.  If you are reading this and have a blog, write a post calling the Faithful to make a stand, and tag it TheBeaconsAreLit.  Will you answer the call?  I’m counting on you guys.

In Christ, Catholic2theMax

When You’re Done with Everything

Today, I’ll be honest, was horrible.  It started out good enough.  I slept in until about 8:00, and went to the 9 am Mass.  After that, I went to the library to get some movies.  My mom told me that I might not be allowed to watch some of them.  I was pretty tired, and that kind of got me annoyed.  Then we had to go to a couple more stops, which further irritated me.  When I finally got home, i locked myself up in my room and started to read a book.  That’s when my mom told me I had to go to the pool (which I really didn’t want to do).  After that she said, “you also have a dentist appointment Thursday, and you have to get a haircut this weekend (Gretclips always messes it up).  Oh, and you have band rehearsal tonight”.  It was like the 4 worst things in a row.  I was very angry.  Then my brother came into the room and said, “Why are you angry.  Huh?  Just tell me why you’re annoyed.”  It lasted for like ten minutes.  I finally escaped and ate lunch.  When I came back upstairs, I was checking what time band was tonight, when I got a notification from wordpress.  It was a post from The Honan Chapel Newsletter.  It was a video from a father whose 5-year old daughter is battling cancer.   

I realized that my life is pretty awesome.  I have to go to the dentist and that means I have teeth to get checked out.  I have to get a haircut and that means I’m not bald.  I have to go to the pool which means I have a pool to go to.  I have to go to marching band which means I’m healthy enough to do it (that’s saying a lot).

My life is great, just like most people’s.  But sadly, most people don’t realize it because their heads are always down to their phones.  Enjoy your life that God gave you, you only have one.

In Christ, Catholic2theMax

PS.  If you’re having a bad day, imagine a t-rex trying to make a bed.  If that doesn’t work, go to catholicmemes.com, that should do the trick.

Comfort and Greatness

So, if you didn’t already know from some of my earlier posts, I’m part of the Marching Band at my high school.  I started playing the alto sax just a year before I joined my Freshman year (that’s barely any).  I was very inexperienced and unprepared for what I was going to be asked to do.  I couldn’t play the music and I could barely march, so they made me an alternate who just pushes the props around.  It was pretty cool, actually.  I went everywhere with the band and pushed a fake camera around.  I got featured on the jumbotron at Lucas Oil Stadium a couple times.  It was hard, but not that hard.

This year is a whole different enchilada.  I have improved my marching technique a lot, and have also spent time getting better musically.  When they dished out this year’s music, it was twice as hard.  But I practiced and practiced, and soon I only had a couple measures that still needed work.  Yesterday (July 16, 2015), we had an all-day rehearsal to get ready for our all-week band camp.  We were outside marching, and it was the time when they choose who is going to be an alternate.  One of the band directors pulls someone aside during a water break and tells them that they will be an alternate for the season.  I was marching around with my alto, feeling good about my improvements, when the assistant band director tells me to see him at the break.  I got pretty disappointed.  I worked so hard to meet their standards and I still am an alternate?  What stinks the most about it is that usually only one sophomore is an alternate, the rest are freshies.  So its really bad luck to be the one sophomore out of 60 that is an alternate.

At the water break I walked over and stood in front of the director.  He says, “You’ve improved a ton.  Not only marching and music, but also your determination and work-ethic.  I’m very glad to see that you have begun to be comfortable in your position.  But…”  I brace myself for the bad news tat I knew was coming.  “But, we need you to march Bari Sax instead.”

For those of you who don’t know, an alto sax is relatively small, but a baritone sax is about 3x as big.

Alto is the one on the far left, then tenor, and finally bari on the right.
Soprano sax is on the bottom, then Alto is the one on the far left, then tenor, and finally bari on the right.

For some reason I still don’t understand, I agreed to march bari.  Its a lot heavier, more awkward to play, and not to mention that I have never played it before.  Band Camp is this Sunday, and I have two days to learn the music and be able to march with it perfectly.  But hey, it’s only marching band.  Ok, it’s a lot harder than it looks.  However, I do have a history of doing these kinds of things.  I used to play football, and I was really good at it (not to brag).  I played defensive end, but my coach needed me at fullback and tight end.  I said that I’ll play whoever he put me.  I ended up playing almost ever position except Qb and running back.  In baseball, I typically played outfield, but my coach wanted me at third.  I had a terrible fear of getting hit with the ball, but I did it anyways.  And finally, band.  When I took the infamous bari out of the case I was like:3973c399c75172b31e8d7a73982c8c10

But when I took a good look at it after it was fully assembled:IMG_5391  I felt like Frodo when I finally took it off.  c2192f9c1e4c9eb5c17e1f24affe37eb67c08459f991487cc19016e1c660cd73

That night, my band director gave a great speech.  he started out with a quote.

“10% of life is what happens to you, 90% of it is how you respond”

He went on to talk about how he kicked our butts that night (very true, considering I marched with a 20 pound sax for two hours straight).  He talked a lot about getting out of your comfort zone, and taking risks.  No one has ever achieved greatness while being comfortable he says.  If you’re starting to feel good about how you are doing, do more.  Push yourself to do more than you think you can, because I know you can.

I couldn’t help but hear Jesus in his words.  read it over again with God as the speaker.  It sounds like him, doesn’t it?  If you feel comfortable just going to church on Sunday, you need to do more.  If you feel uncomfortable about something, generally, generally mind you, you’re on the right path.  Has anyone ever gotten the girl of their dreams by feeling comfortable and not talking to her?  Has anyone won a Super Bowl without taking a single risk?  Has anyone made it to Heaven, just trying to be “good enough”?  Heck No!  Jesus asks for the impossible, but He rarely requires it.  If you give, 110%, Jesus will give the rest.  If you aim for like 98-ish, your gonna get 9.8-ish.  Give your best, and then some.  At band, we do a breathing exercise, where we fill up our lungs in 5 counts, and then take gulps of air for 15 counts.  Our air wasn’t really full after five, was it?  How about this.  Raise your hand as high as you can.  Higher.  Higher.  You could go farther, couldn’t you?  That’s what we always need to do.

“The world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort.  You were made for Greatness” – JPII

In Christ, Catholic2theMax

PS, I really need some prayers today and for the rest of the week.  Thanks!