There are, of course, other variables. Our culture has fetishized violence in video games, motion pictures, and television series, especially those streaming online. Have you watched any of The Punisher on Netflix?
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I have. Its graphic violence, however, certainly comes at a cost to weaker, impressionable minds. This fetishization of violence is at its root another symptom of our idolization of power. Christ has come to wash away all that. He has sent His Spirit to elevate us. To make us better, more caring, more loving, and humble. To make us the people that we are meant to be. This lesson is the eternal warning of Lent.
It's the lesson that in her wisdom the Church offers us in the gospel of every first Sunday of this penitential season. While this year, that reading will be from the ever-brief Mark , the corresponding passage from Luke shines a brighter light on the crises of our age:. The devil said to him, "I shall give to you all this power and their glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish.
All this will be yours, if you worship me. The idolization of power is the warning and the message that we should be shouting from the rooftops. To confront evil, we need to turn our attention first and foremost to Christ—not government, not regulations, not more research, as necessary as those are. We Christians, then, must continue this Lent to share the Gospel of Life so that others might hear the words and experience the grace of Christ.
Only with his presence will true dialogue occur; compassion overcome isolation; light overcome darkness; love overcome hate, and life overcome our bloody culture of death.
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May God welcome all those victims of Parkland, and all victims of violence everywhere. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. View the discussion thread. Catholic Ecology posts my regular column in the Rhode Island Catholic , as well as scientific and theological commentary about the latest eco-news, both within and outside of the Catholic Church.
What is contained herein is but one person's attempt to teach and defend the Church's teachings - ecological and otherwise. As such, I offer all contents of this blog for approval of the bishops of the Church. It is my hope that nothing herein will lead anyone astray from truth. Skip to main content. Christ and a culture of death Another mass shooting in the US demonstrates a cultural acceptance of power and violence in the name of individual choice.
Feb 17, Sadly, such an integrated Catholic view is not welcome in popular discourse. And so, polarization widens, and our ancient enemy relishes the consequences. In this way a kind of 'conspiracy against life' is unleashed. As I understand it, Christ has come to wash away all that. Learn more. In the News Commitment to fighting climate change still weak, pope says. Group hopes St. Kateri Tekakwitha will show U. For second year, Pope warns oil execs that 'radical energy transition' is needed to save the planet.
About the Blog Catholic Ecology posts my regular column in the Rhode Island Catholic , as well as scientific and theological commentary about the latest eco-news, both within and outside of the Catholic Church. Receive blog posts automatically Email Address. First Name. Last Name. Tweets by CatholicEcology. Previous editions of the top-ten annual Catholic eco-summaries have focused on individual events, projects, and people.
And while Helping the Church use its land for good, one community at a time.
Molly Burhans, a mapper extraordinaire, is gaining international attention for connecting the Church with cutting-edge mapping and land-use planning tools. A global celebration this Wednesday of the modern miracles of high-tech mapping calls to mind an often underappreciated element of the A stormy Season of Creation. How should Catholic eco-advocates respond as the US sexual abuse crisis reaches Rome, dampens eco-enthusiasm? We Catholics have now arrived in American society, the most educated of religious groups.
We have made a huge contribution to the fabric of America with our elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, and health care facilities and social outreach. With the exception of most recently arrived immigrants, we have become part of mainstream America. We participate in every strata of society from the trenches of the dirt-poor to the chairs of corporate and financial power. Nevertheless, it was once thought that a Catholic could not participate in the civic and political institutions of this land, until one John F.
Kennedy proved them wrong — not without a troublesome statement of defense on his part, however, that he would never allow his faith to influence his protection of the U. That statement, unfortunately, for whatever was meant by it, has become a mantra for a number of Catholic politicians today who find it no problem to hide their Catholicism in order to throw in their hat with certain morally dubious legislation initiatives.
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What this all amounts to is a problem of discipleship — namely, how can Catholic culture survive in an environment where people are caught up with the idea that religion and religious institutions are irrelevant. The situation emerges where we are not sure how or why we are Catholic, or why our Catholic Church is special and more truthful among many others. But then again, our brand of freedom says anything you want to believe or not believe is all right. This is the land of the free.
To speak of the terms faith and culture might immediately indicate that there is a clash or point of disagreement between the two. I suppose this is true in a number of respects such that it is a Catholic preoccupation of sorts. There is a built-in tension between Catholicism and American culture, especially the America of ever-expanding individual rights and freedoms. For the first time, Catholics now debate one another in public over contrasting views.
How to Build a Culture of Life
Catholics have always held suspect the liberal emphasis on the autonomy of the person and perennially stressed the common good over individual rights. In the Catholic tradition, the individual is always embedded in social relations within family and community and his or her rights cannot be understood in isolation. Today, everyone, conventional and unconventional, is lobbying for constitutional protection for their beliefs and lifestyles.
While we must be careful about what we soak in from the surrounding culture, we must remember we are both believers and citizens formed and shaped by culture. Our faith asks us to season the culture and enlighten it, not to give up on it or to damn it, but to bring it to God. And, over the course of history, that effort has, in instances, spelled martyrdom. We are taught one thing here in this sacred place only to go out those doors and find another commentary that would snicker at everything we are and do here.
Our Catholicism, precisely, is a daily habit, not a hobby that we have time for this Sunday but maybe not next Sunday, if we happen to have tickets to a football game. Our religion is the organizing force in our lives. For this reason we are called to be salt and light to the culture. So, with mentionings here of the tensions involved in being Catholic and being citizen, how do we move in the culture?
You are certainly aware of these tensions between culture and belief and their impact on your lives. Despite the secularizing tendencies of our culture, we can navigate the culture by way of a higher consciousness, by way of grace. This supernatural view of existence opens an extraordinarily rich horizon of salvific perspectives because, in the monotonous context of normal earthly events, God comes close to us and we can actually cooperate in his plan of salvation.
Friends, we cannot separate ourselves from the world within which we live and work. These popes see this engagement synonymous with evangelization of the culture necessary for these times. The new millennium has signaled a new allegiance to the Church by young Catholics, such as yourselves, who have a hunger for the purity of the Gospel, which contains the credentials of the Church. We are asked to re-evangelize the Church from within and to uphold the truths of the faith and the rightful claims of tradition. We are asked to witness to the truth of the Gospel message.
Some of us gathered here are young families, where love and direction are strident in our households. Most of the rest look forward to establishing their own families some day. How can you improve on the culture, which shapes your attitudes and values, in order to bring it to Christ? How can you be the salt of the earth and the light of the world? I suggest the evangelization of culture is closely allied with the renewal of family life among Christians — namely, your nurture of your domestic church which serves the Church universal and works an evangelization that is ultimately out of our hands in its results.
No one of us can change the culture single-handedly.