Hello all. I am a Catholic teenager from a very conservative family who has recently been exposed to the “real world.” We’ll recently as in the last two years. My question is this: from news websites, and just the Internet in general, it seems to be accepted that it is normal for men to sleep with multiple women, normal for teenagers to smoke pot and have sex, and normal for porn and masturbation to occur on a regular basis. Now, I know the church defines all the above as mortal sins. As a teenage boy (who girls find attractive, by the way) is it really possible for me to be accepted in society unless I do the above? And in general, is the world really as bad a place as the media makes it out to be? Are there really so few good people left? Thank you so much for advice and help
It’s wonderful that you have received such a sound Catholic upbringing…
The media doesn’t find it interesting to relate stories of the lives of many people living good Christian lives, therefore we mostly hear of the amoral the dramatic crimes, and the sins against God and each other.
Be true to the person the Lord created you to be. You are a son of God, redeemed by Jesus, and while this life may seem a long time, it is a brief time considered beside eternity with God and the multitude of others in heaven who lived good lives upon earth.
So don’t confirm to the values of those who choose the immorality of those who don’t value the immortal soul or God, but to your true identity as a child of God destined for eternal happiness.
May God bless and keep you safe in His love and goodness.
I think that morals have declined in general, but there are still people out there who try to live a moral life. If people don’t respect your moral values, then why would you care to be accepted by them? You don’t have to sink to the lowest common behavior. It could be that if you maintain higher standards, you’ll gain the respect of those who are “on the fence” in terms choosing their own morals.
Unfortunately morals have declined rapidly. We have forgotten why Jesus died on the cross for us. But all we can do is pray for them, pray for ourselves, and not fall in the pressures of society.
Thank you for the response. I appreciate the kind words. I am trying my best
Well where are the people living the moral lives then? I can’t seem to find very many. Even kids from devout catholic families are perverted an cuss, etc. I play on a Christian baseball team and the stuff that is discussed in the dugout is atrociously sinful. I can’t seem to find any of these moral people, aside from my parents and one or two good friends.
Remember that we are called to be **in **the world but not **of **the world. We are not promised an easy road, far from it, but we must ***strive ***to be perfect in this imperfect world.
And don’t even get me started on girls and how they act and dress…
While they may be hard to find, they are out there, but usually people who live a good moral life aren’t going to be out and about bragging about it, and trumpeting their lifestyle. They’re going to be living humbly, just going about their lives in the best way they can. You’ll learn to recognize them when you realize that they don’t engage in things that are immoral, like a someone who doesn’t participate in a dirty joke, or someone who turns down a questionable invitation, things like that.
Keep your good friends close to you, as well as your family. They’ll be a strong anchor for when you’re feeling alone. Don’t let it get to you when you can’t find other people right away, or even at all, but at the same time, don’t let yourself cower either. I mean, don’t be afraid to actively seek good people, either at Church groups or retreats, etc. But don’t get depressed if it seems like they’re not out there. Keep to God, and always ask Him to help put you in a godly environment. And pray for those around you meanwhile!
(And believe me, there are loooots of people here who feel the same way, and who bemoan the lack of morality in people these days!)
I know your disappointment. I was given unrestricted access to the Internet when I was 12 (probably a bad idea) and faced a similar surprise. It even pulled me in a bit, but thank God, I turned away from that. But now I see it everywhere. It’s really sad, but you’ve got to stick to the faith. Be the good example to others. It’s not easy.
The world’s a GREAT place! In college, I knew lots of lovely Christian people- they didn’t get gossiped about, make the news, or make viral photos because… well, how interesting is it to talk about how So-and-So didn’t get drunk/do this or that/etc. The majority of our friends did not live together before marriage, even.
Take a deep breath, cultivate good friendships- people who you find uplifting, and enjoy being with-and enjoy venturing out into the world!
Thank you so much! that definitely puts a positive spin in things:)
Remember - many people (particularly teens) tend to “talk” a big game to impress others or fit in, but not actually be doing even 1/4 of what they claim they did/saw/etc. So even when it seems everyone else is saying they’re sneaking out, having sex, getting high/drunk, etc - doesn’t mean they’re actually doing so. Discussing it, bragging about it and lying about it is almost certainly sinful, but is also part of the need to fit in and seem more worldly than they are. I’m certainly not saying you should do so too!!! But wanted to point out that what they say and what they actually do in reality may be two very different things.
Also, I assume college is awaiting you in a couple years. My kids have assured me that it’s still true today - the people you will meet there are entirely different from the people you’re dealing with in high school. My child who was ostracized for being weird (by not having a cell phone for example) in high school, is one of the more popular students at her college. My other child who graduated a few years ago went from being tolerated but ignored in high school, to being one of the student leaders for the ballroom dance team - and she’d never had a dance lesson in her life before starting college.
So let me affirm - stay true to yourself and who you are. Keep whatever good friends you find, be open to new friendships as they occur. Be willing to accept faults in others but not at the expense of sacrificing your own values. Trust God - He has awesome plans for you!
This is absolutely true. And perhaps if you stand by your guns, you will find that those people will respect you, and maybe even moderate their conversation and behavior because of your example. Not being holier-than-thou, of course, but just with a shrug indicating that you’re not interested in hearing such things.
As other posters have said, there’s no news value in: “Joe Smith got up and went to work today, gave his employer a good days’ work, and went home to help his wife with the housework and his kids with their homework, so that they all felt loved and part of the family.” No, but we’ll hear about it if he beats or abuses them. Best to put little trust in the media. They’re just out for shock value.
Many decent girls are looking for good young men. Keep on the path you’re going to become one of them.
I think that you are awesome for even pondering this at your age! God must have great plans for you. Yes, our culture slips a little more into the sewer every day but there are still good people in our country. As mentioned before these good people will get very little media attention. You may feel alone at times but you are not alone as the Holy Spirit will guide you. Don’t give in to pressure to do immoral things but try to find others through church groups etc. You sound mature for your age but most young people will not have your level of maturity. Try to be patient with them and look for the best in them even when they are struggling with their own morals. Set a good example through just being a good, solid ,trustyworthy and joyful person. You don’t need a flock of friends just one or two good ones will do for now.
Study hard and get a good education and have a plan for your life that isn’t weighed down with mistakes from an immoral life. You will feel freedom and joy from walking with God every day that others not following that path will never know. Pray for yourself and your wayward friends. Go to a college with a good Newman Center and be careful about attending a Catholic in Name Only type university. Be optimistic and try not to listen to too much negative chatter about our culture. You can only be in charge of yourself so make YOU someone to be proud of! People like you are greatly needed in this world.
You sound like I did a couple years ago. :o
Put it this way- the world is a very BIG place. There are billions of people in it. Millions of those people are doing their very best to follow God, although of course they very often mess it up. Millions of people are also going around with complete disregard for right and wrong as we understand them. Many more are somewhere in the middle.
There are lots of good things about the world, and there are lots of really terrible things in it. But think about how big the world is- do you really suppose there are no moral people left in it? There are still a lot of them, but you may find they stand out less than the people who do a lot of things wrong. You’ll have to keep a lookout for them.
Yes, the things you state really are “normal” in the sense that many people do them. But Jesus never called us to be normal, did he? Nope, he called us to be a bunch of weirdos that did what’s right, regardless of what anybody else thinks of it. I promise you, the world needs people like you. It needs people who will take a stand and say no to the immorality of this world. So with that in mind, I encourage you not to give up. There are a lot of other kids who feel the same way you do, and if you look for them long enough, I am sure you will find some of them.