Monday, April 17, 2006

Sainthood or popularity - the dilemma faced by young Catholics

It seems to be a growing mentality even in our own community (the Catholic community) that to be devout is to be diseased. We are like the lepers in the times of Christ. We are shunned by many, forced to live our lives on the outside of the city rather than partaking in the daily routines with everyone else and enjoying life despite our differences. Why is it that the devout are considered diseased? Why is devoutness now a shameful thing? When did having respect for Christ in the Eucharist become a thing of the past? I don't understand this way of thinking. I suppose it is expected from the rest of the world but I certainly didn't expect to find it so often within the Catholic community itself. I am hurt to know that many of my fellow Catholics would see me as nerdy or weird because I am deeply in love with my faith and will not deny it. It is considered to be without a life when you volunteer with the youth ministry or participate in your church choir. I am not talking strictly about myself. Too often I see children or young adults being singled out as losers because of their involvement in the Church. I wish I could say such things are only happening among the children of the parish but I cannot. I see it in adults too. Adults will single children and teens out as being outcasts for their faithfulness. Raising children to be saints is 'ridiculous' and 'a bit dramatic'. I'm sorry, what was that? "Ridiculous?" I have a hard time coping with what our society is coming to.

I wish more people would embrace young people striving for sainthood. We are all called to be saints and yet those who openly try are often rejected. Luke 6:22 says "Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man." I would like to believe this would be in reference to those outside the Church. Since when should this verse also be applied to those within? Should we not be a united community? When did the one body of Christ break apart and become the cool and the lame? I just don't understand.

Great is the burden of the young saint. This is how it has always been and I would assume always will be. It is a great shame, however, to admit that much of the immediate burden is from the community that should be lifting them up.

Originally composed November 25, 2005. Still true today.

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