As summer comes to a close, Walter, Isabel, and even Harry are getting ready for the coming school year. The summer has flown by. And the demands of family, friends, and work only seem to increase. I feel the need to slow down and take a step back.
It is healthy, from time to time, to take the time to check and adjust the compass that guides us. This means asking ourselves soul-searching questions and courageously seeking answers. “What are we celebrating?” is one of those questions, because you can be certain that we are becoming whatever it is we are celebrating. And we would be wise to listen attentively to the answers, because these answers will utter prophetic truths about our future. We become what we celebrate.
If you walk into most teenagers’ rooms and look around, what occupies the places of prominence? Posters of rock idols and movie stars who, for the most part, live lives unworthy of emulation; magazines filled with articles that subtly, and not so subtly, undermine the dignity of the human person and the values of our faith; iPods and CDs filled with music that redefines love as something selfish and sensual; and video games that too often celebrate violence, depersonalize the human person, and stifle the individuality and creativity that define a person’s unique path toward God. We become what we celebrate, and this teenager will become a cloned conglomerate of the people and things he or she is celebrating.
When our children know more about teen pop idols than they do about Jesus Christ, isn’t it time for us to reassess the place and priority our faith has in our lives? It is also time for us to develop innovative strategies and dynamic methods for communicating the faith to people of all ages, but particularly the young. Too often we adopt nineteenth-century solutions for twenty-first-century problems. Now is the time to explore new ways to communicate the Gospel, ways that demonstrate the genius and relevance of Catholicism to the modern lifestyle. Now is the time to celebrate our faith by living it in such a way that we capture the imagination and intrigue the hearts and minds of the people of our time.
We become what we celebrate. What are you celebrating?