WHAT ARE WE? REALLY?
Technical problems with Google indexing have made it desirable to re-post all of our material. I hope you will find interest in reflecting with me, on the history of the Church over the centuries and during the life of the Blog which began on 14th December 2009. This post first appeared on 21st May, 2010.
What are we?
Better put, the question would be "Who are we?"
Unless we have a rock-solid conviction about who we are, we are in dire trouble. This is especially so in the modern world, which is media massaged, continually re-making its self - image for the sake of fashion and sales or the latest ideology. Very many of our fellow citizens, completely immersed in the pop culture identify themselves by what they are inclined to do, either professionally, culturally or from an aspirations or lifestyle point of view.
As Catholics, we should be the first to confidently answer both who we are and what we are. We are children of God and members of Christ's Mystical Body the Church.
That should sum up much of our culture, our aspirations and our lifestyle. After that, comes our Nationality, citizenship, and the myriad aspects of our different beings - our unique identity.
But if we do not see ourselves fundamentally and first of all in terms of our relationship with God, we are in serious error and at serious risk. This foundational aspect of our identity needs to be inculcated in children from their earliest years. The influences of the mass media strive to inculcate an entirely different view - that self-gratification is all that matters, that there are no rules and that you are what you are inclined to do.
But seeing the truth clearly and recognising its implications, enables us to withstand, with God's grace, whatever life hurls at us. Knowing who we are, we always know where to turn, not only in the hard times but in the ordinary times and the good times. We truly "get real "when we develop a right relationship with the God Who loves us.
In this way, we avoid the emptiness and despair so evident in the lives of those who identify themselves by the lifestyle they lead - their suicides, and drug abuse plainly reveal their "lack of invisible means of support"- the phrase coined by Archbishop Fulton Sheen when speaking of supposed "Atheists".
Too many people choose to identify themselves by what they feel inclined to do - they thus try to avoid responsibility for their actions. "I am what I am" as the song put it. But NO. Many people feel strong impulses to violence, but do not call themselves murderers or thugs. Others covet passionately the money/assets of others but do not call themselves thieves. It is what we decide to consistently do that makes us murderers or thieves or whatever.
But what we are INCLINED TO DO is not what we are. We have free will and God's grace to help us use it.
We are responsible for what we do.