Turn the Other Cheek

Today is the Feast day of the First Holy Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church.  Today we honor the brave men and women who gave their lives to spread the gospel to the world.  Without them, we would never had heard the good news of Christ.  Some of them we know, such as St. Peter and Paul who we celebrated yesterday.  Today is for the unsung heroes who names are known to God alone.

They say history repeats itself, that what happened will happen again.  The world is definitely heading in that direction.  Doubtless you have heard of the Supreme Court’s disappointing decision regarding so called “gay marriage”.  What disappoints me even more is the reaction of the people.  Wordpress had a gigantic rainbow banner at the top of my screen for a couple days, Google had a weird video of it on their homepage, and Target had like thirteen different variations of Gay Pride swim trunks.  And people get mad at me for wearing a scapular under my shirt because it’s “offensive”.

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 1.39.47 PMOut of curiosity, I did a little poll at my high school with my friends.  There were just a couple of questions.

1. Should abortion be legal in any circumstance?

2. Should gay marriage be allowed?

3.  What religion do you believe in?

20 people agreed to take part in it.  My friend and I tallied them up, and the results were…well, you’ll see.  As for religion, 50% were Protestant-Christian, 20% were Catholic, and 20% were Atheist, Agnostic, or other.  Here is the actual chart.  35% responded “Yes” to Question 1 regarding abortion, but a staggering 80% said “Yes” to the second.  If you just look at the Christians, two-thirds of them don’t see a problem with what the Supreme Court just decided.

1f8a89ff35a61631d4404c44cdbd22a884d302b10a410758a4ba2f984f3ca8a2Good question.  If we figure out how we got here, the easier it is to get out.  For that, I highly recommend the book Worshipping the State: How Liberalism Became Our State Religion.  It explains in perfect detail about what we face today in the secular world, how it came to be, why it came to be, and how we can face it.

So, what do do right now.  First, you need to fight off despair.  I know that’s really hard to do.  But if you give up hope, that’s like just letting your boat drift during a storm.  You need to anchor your ship in the Rock of Christ, His Church.  That’s why hope is usually symbolized as an anchor.

The second thing is to pray.

“Give me an army praying the Rosary and I will conquer the world”  – Blessed Pope Pius IX

Pray for strength for yourself, strength for your fellow Catholics, and by golly pray some common sense into everyone else!

The third thing is to respond with love.  LGTB advocates say they support ‘love’, but often argue or respond with hatred.  The founder of Mozilla was forced to resign because he made a small donation to a Pro-Traditional Marriage organization six years earlier.

The fourth thing is to teach others.  Based on the poll I mentioned earlier, you might think kids nowadays haven’t been taught well.  You may even think that the culture taught them instead.andyouareright

So, teach people the truth, the whole truth, and notin’ but the truth!

The final thing you have to do is to resist.  With the successful watering-down of most of Christianity, the secular culture expects us to just be the nice guys who aren’t mean to anybody.  To that I say no.  We need to be the totally awesome guys who go around teaching the faith and saving souls!  That sounds cooler to me.  They expect you to turn the other cheek and not do anything, because that is what they have led us to believe that it means.

Back in Jesus’ time someone would backhand a slave with their right hand because using their left hand was seen as “unclean”.  Jesus says to turn the other cheek, making it impossible to backhand you with their right hand.  You’re telling the person that you won’t fight back, you won’t run away, but you won’t just submit to his hatred either.

The story that probably explains it the best is a tale of Mother Theresa.  She had a starving child with her, and stood at the doorstep of a bakery, begging for bread.  The baker spat on her instead.  She replied.  “Thank you for your gift to me, now how about something for the child”.

That being said, my favorite example is that of an African Bishop who was making his way along a low bridge over a large pool of mud.  He encountered a racist white man who was going in the opposite direction.  The man said, “Get off.  I don’t make way for gorillas.”  The bishop got off the bridge and gestured for the man to move on.  He said, “I do”.

Step One

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   Step Two
 awesome

Jesus isn’t telling us to just leave them alone or not doing anything.  He’s calling us to resist!  Turning the other cheek attracts the person to be sorry, to realize what he is doing, and to repent.  It reflects his hatred back at him so he can see what he has just done.  Fighting back just fuels the fire (One of my brothers is like 16 months younger than me and we fight all the time.  Trust me, I’ve tried that.  It does not work.).  Running away just confirms that what he is doing is working.

Sometimes all we can do is fight.  I mean, it would not end well for Batman if all he did was send the Joker text messages with burn jokes.  Again, sometimes we have to flee.  But usually, go for turning the other cheek.  That goes for our situation in America today.

Remember what I said in The Way, when I said that it’s easier to get to your destination when you’re caravanning?  That certainly applies right now.  Not only do you need trustworthy friends to keep you on the straight and narrow, but also to give you advice about how to answer people’s questions and arguments, to give you encouragement, make sure you understand what is actually the truth, and to most importantly, pray for you.  Always be on the look out for potential caravan members, or a caravan to join.  You can find one here by the way.  You can send me an email or comment about whatever you want.

Well, that is it for today.  Tomorrow I’ll be posting a month-in-review post, so get ready for that.  Think about that follow button by the way.  My caravan is always open to new members.  I’ll pray for you guys, and for America, please pray for me too.  God knows I need it as well.  Thanks!

In Christ, Catholic2theMax

Some People

Pope-meme

I feel like this so often.  On the reader page of WordPress, I follow the “Catholic” Tag.  Sometimes people will post Anti-Catholic stuff on there with that tag.  There was one about how no devout catholic could ever be a good parent.  Annoyed sigh.  It is always nice to see and actual Catholic post under the Catholic Tag.  It’s even better when Catholic Memes comes out with a new post.  Ah, that site is awesome.  Anyway, it’s a lot easier to deal with the anti-Catholic comments in real life.  I feel much more at home in a face to face conversation.  Even not discussing it, but just taking the blow is easier in real life.  I don’t feel alone because I have a couple of really good devout Catholic friends that always have my back.  Elsewhere, I feel a lot more alone, helpless even.  I know I’m never alone with God, but I still get that feeling.  I have a “Catholic” friend who will usually take the wrong side of an argument and say something weird.  He’s all for that “all religions are equal” stuff.  He claims that the Catholic Church isn’t correct, it’s just the closest to being right out of all the beliefs in the world.  Whenever that happens, I’m just like:

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It’s usually pretty funny to see his argument collapse after the relentless barrage of sound theology from me and my friends.  I know that kid well, so I can have serious conversations with him from time to time without his dismissal of logic.  I always try to remember my own advice from the post the Apostolate of Friendship.  I have a hard time doing so.  The point that I am trying to say is that without those few select Catholic friends I have, I wouldn’t be wrighting this.  I would probably be just remain quiet on religion.  You know, keep your religion to yourself and all that.  I was like that at the start of my Freshman year.  Some of my friends were talking about abortion and they asked me how I felt about it.  I, a confirmed catholic, who has every responsibility to defend and share the truth, said I didn’t really care.  Looking back, I can’t even see how I let myself do that.  Then I met a couple of Catholic friends who had been in the apologetics business longer than I (I was homeschooled for a couple grades).  They gave me the courage to speak up.  Together with my friends, we all wore Yes on 1 buttons during the 40 days for life.  I have to admit, half the time I wore a jacket over my button during a few classes.  I didn’t want to face harsh criticism from people I didn’t know.  It was a really big learning experience for me.  Fast forward a couple months, and I write a blog about Catholicism.  I wear a Catholic t-shirt like every other day.  This isn’t me bragging, it’s me bragging about my friends.  All this is because of them.

Of course, with anybody, they do have their negative sides.  One of them is super philosophical and hurts my brain all the time. One of them is less traditional than I am, and we joke about his Church’s newer Worship music compared to my church’s classical chant and hymns.  But they are some of the best kids I have ever met.  They continue to change my life and keep it on the narrow way towards Jesus.  So this post is for them, and for all those heroic teens out there taking a stand for the truth.  For all those courageous souls bringing others closer to Jesus.  This is for you also, my brave reader.  Yes, Pope Francis, it’s for you too.  Don’t excommunicate me or anything, okay?  Thanks for reading and God Bless!

Coexisting, and why its not an option

You might be wondering, “I thought coexisting was a good thing?”.  And you’d be right, depending on the definition.  If you mean we should coexist by not killing each other over race, or being able to work together with people of different religions or backgrounds, that’s fine. But when I say coexist, I mean the concept that all religions are fine and should be treated as such (AKA Religious Indifference). Many people think this is a viable option.  After all, why can’t we all just get along already for Pete’s sake?  Others say that you should “stop forcing your religion on others”, or “you believe what you want to believe, and I’ll believe what I want to believe”.  However, there is one large gap in this philosophy.  One religion has to be correct, others flawed in areas of great importance, and some are just flat-out wrong (and sometimes scary).  Every religion is different from all the others, or else they would be the same religion.  eventually two religions will take different stands on a moral topic, and one is right, and one is wrong.  Let’s pretend there are two religions, each with strand of DNA.  They could be the same up until the end, but even that makes the two religions different. The Catholic Church teaches that we should love our neighbors as God has loved us.  Love is the willing of good to someone else, possibly even at your own expense.  St. Paul tells us that love is the single most important virtue, and that it is required of us as Christians to show it.   That gives us the duty to share the truth with others.  If you knew a blind man, but had a lotion that would cure him and didn’t give it to him, how bad would that be?  Or maybe you knew that your friend had a million dollars in his attic, and you didn’t tell him about it.  That would be stupid, wouldn’t it?  Now multiply that by infinity, literally.  We’re talking about eternal life here!  This is what coexisting is asking us to do, and why we cannot comply. In a nutshell, Catholics cannot coexist because we will not keep the truth to ourselves while we watch our brothers and sisters possibly lose their chance at eternal life.  As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said in Verbum Domini,

“We cannot keep to ourselves the words of eternal life given to us in our encounter with Jesus Christ: they are meant for everyone, for every man and woman. … It is our responsibility to pass on what, by God’s grace, we ourselves have received.”