These past few months I have endeavoured to live the Faith as strictly as I can. Frequent sacraments and study has really changed my perception of the modern world. Years past when I was a “casual Catholic” I didn’t really see the world as sinful as I do today. Even in the past five years there seems to be a great deal of negative change. Dare I say, the modern world isn’t that different with Sodom and Gamora with its level of wickedness. Perhaps this is one of the reasons some pursue the cloistered life. So I ask, what’s your take on the modern world? How corrupt is it? How far has it strayed from the will of God?
I think there’s still a lot of good in the world.However,there’s been a re-emergence of paganism in the last two hundred years.Starting from the French Revolution and has really accelerated from '60s onwards?Just my personal opinion.
Even with all the sin and degradation in today’s world every so often you hear stories of people doing immense good. Such as the attacks of 9/11 a few years ago. Very bad, but there were people who did their best to head off the attacks, to help rescue those in peril, to comfort those who lost loved ones, etc. There have also been natural disasters like storms, where people who lived far away from the disasters have helped victims rebuild their lives by going to the disaster areas with basic necessities or contributing truck loads of those things or labor to help fix damaged buildings and living quarters. Just recently there was a mass shooting in Connecticut at a school and millions of people all over this country and even the world, held prayer/memorial services for those killed and their families. I personally, was involved in an auto accident this past October where my car was t-boned and I was pinned inside it and some firefighters and police officers rescued me out of that mess and rushed me to the hospital. And there were witnesses who testified that the accident was not my fault, witnesses who didn’t even know me.
There will always be evil people who commit evil acts.
What I have learned is that if I focus on all of the evil, I forget to even look for any good. It seems that we are living in a “glass half empty” kind of world now, and with the plethora of news outlets, it seems to be getting worse. The old adage of “if it bleeds, it leads” is alive & well in the US and the argument used by the news outlets is, “well this is what the people want to see”.
IMHO, if I want the world I live in to change, I must change myself first. Instead of looking around and wringing my hands at the evil, I can make a choice to be a “bright spot”- to do something positive when I see something negative, to watch my words and make sure that I only speak out of love & kindness, to encourage instead of tear-down.
It is very easy to get caught up in the “the world is so evil, so I am just going to run away” attitude, or worse yet, the “they did it to me, so I am going to give it back the same or worse”, and sadly, we are living in a society where this now seems to be the “norm”. And the only way it will ever get “fixed” is by one person at a time, realizing that, in spite of all the “bad” we see, there is always hope.
My wife has a half sister named “Hope”. Does that count?
“The World” - as different from “The Kingdom” - has always been corrupt. So in this little has changed.
I would suggest that even in the past - during what might be considered a more “Christian” time - it was little more than a veneer in most peoples lives. As Jesus would call “Lip service”, more interested in form than in substance.
Moving from the realm of “casual Christian” to serious disciple of Christ IS, as you have found, an eye-opening experience. Suddenly things stand out in much greater contrast than before but in truth I don’t think what you are seeing is “the world” moving further from God, but rather it is you who are moving further from the world as you move closer to God.
Now - that said - I offer you a caution. There is a danger in what you see and how you perceive. That danger is to become too judgmental and callous of those who live in the world. It is always important that we distinguish between “the world” and those who live in it. Our mission as believers is to live our faith in the world and by so doing encourage others to join us. This requires that we Love those who are living in this corrupted world - even as we see them seduced by it…for as I’m sure you are aware…we too were once equally seduced. So bear this in mind, that we are in the world (but not of the world) to Love as Christ loves.
As for those seeking the cloistered life. Most who choose this life are not trying to hide, but rather they are called to protect the world through the great sacrifice and discipline of the cloistered community. Those charged with helping others discern the cloistered call seek to discourage those who seek it as a “hiding” from the world.
Hope the above is not too disjointed.
Really just remember to look for the good in the world as well. And like Oneofthewomen said, change yourself and be a bright spot. I personally think that every day is a good day if you make someone else smile.
The modern world is not doing well in my opinion because people still see abortion as a norm.
1 Timothy 4:1-2: Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the last times some will turn away from the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and demonic instructionsthrough the hypocrisy of liars with branded consciences.
2 Timothy 3: 1-5: But understand this: there will be terrifying times in the last days.People will be self-centered and lovers of money, proud, haughty, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreligious,callous, implacable, slanderous, licentious, brutal, hating what is good,traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, as they make a pretense of religion but deny its power. Reject them.
Blessed Pope John Paul II established the devotion to the Divine Mercy. Christ is offering us His MERCY before He comes with His JUSTICE. It is in our personal power to choose one or the other. Actions speak louder than words.
[FONT=Arial]Matthew 7:21: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,** but only the one who does the will of my Father** in heaven.[/FONT]
We are called to live the example and to encourage others to reject sinful behavior. In this way we can receive Christ’s Mercy and avoid His Justice.
JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU.
Good points all. I tend to see history from the French Revolution on as a rebellion against Christianity, a return to paganism, and a heading in the direction of barbarism. There is always a great temptation to detest those public figures who promote these trends. It helps to understand that even they may think they are somehow on the right side of issues, and is it not true that “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people”. Now, I am surprised to find this a quote of Eleanor Roosevelt, not one of my favorite conservative icons, so I’ll try not to be small-minded about it, and close with: Progressivism and Socialism are baneful, toxic ideas.
A great, well thought out post. Yes, we need to change from within first.
The more decadent, false and corrupt modern society becomes- and it seems it hasn’t even hit rock bottom yet- the more obvious it is where truth and beauty live eternally.
Exactly as corrupt as it has always been. Every age is the modern age to those who live in it. If we could get back to any day in history, we would always find the same things. Nothing changes about corruption.
I think of what you are experiencing this way: If there is a big bright light in the middle of a dark plain, if you are far from it, your shadow is faint and things all look about the same shades of gray. But as you draw closer to the light, the darkess gets sharper, the distinction between what is light and not-light much clearer and you note how deep the darkness is.
My advice is turn and face the Light.
Great Analogy Julia…
What’s your take on the modern world?
That we should not be surprised by the current moral degradation and that we should have a new appreciation for earlier popes who were brilliantly prophetic in knowing and recognizing the errors we would live through in the modernist/post modernism period of today. Re-read Lamentabili Sane (Syllabus of Errors condemning the Modernists) and the other Syllabus of Errors (Pius IX). Then look at some of these threads and read certain comments made by Catholic posters to see how eerily accurate the insight was of the previous Bishops of Rome.
It depends on your age, but Catholic reporters and commentators have identified the last 40 years, and the very gradual poisoning of society through increasingly bad media, as a primary driver of what we all experience today. We have always been sinners but prior to 40 years ago, many things that many people, including non-believers, regarded as bad or deviant or perverted, did not exist to the degree you see now.
The vast majority of these things were done in private, and various pictures and magazines were hard to get. Without going into every detail, the biggest change was getting people to believe that sexual sin was OK. That getting an abortion or getting a divorce are no big deal. I’m not saying either is easy, but I know too many Catholics who have been divorced twice. This is not a judgment but an observation. However, our current problems regarding sex and male-female relationships did not occur overnight and were driven by groups and the changing of laws.
Starting in 1968, radical anarchists and Hippies encouraged all of us to change. We regarded them as an anomaly at the time, but they told young people to be like them: smoke dope, dress like they did, have regulation length long hair and have sex with anybody, along with profanity is OK. “Don’t trust anyone over 30!” So mom, dad, priests, nuns, the Church? Bad. What they thought was ‘good.’ They spread their message through sick, sexually perverted ‘underground comix’ that reached their height (low) between 1968 and 1975. Along with Marxist/Anarchist/Socialist underground newspapers who spread lies and also encouraged bad behavior. Corporations were evil. “Eat the Rich” was a slogan in one.
These publications were sold in “head shops,” head being short for dopehead. Most head shops didn’t last long.
In the 1970s, it suddenly became legal to sell graphic, gynecological porn in Adult Bookstores which opened across the country. Not to mention strip clubs and topless bars. Many of us would become addicts as planned.
Just a few years prior, you couldn’t even say sex on TV. The 1970s saw the beginning of characters that fell into the category of The Dysfunctionals. By the 1980s, porn on cable, and the TV shows and songs on the radio became increasingly sexual. And the movies just kept getting worse and worse. Throw in No-Fault Divorce, and if you had no kids, a few pieces of paper and a flat fee got you out.
The viciously anti-family National Organization for Women spent the 1970s getting some women to distrust, if not hate, all men. That helped set the stage for No-Fault Divorce in the 1980s.
The 1990s. Into the abyss. Rap, shock jocks, and then the internet, all multiplied and promoted a highly distorted picture of what it meant to be human - a normal human.
So, let’s review.
1960 The Birth Control Pill
1968 The Sex without love Revolution is in full swing.
1970s Adult bookstores, strip clubs and topless bars - it’s legal, so it must be OK, right?
The National Organization for Women creates a false idea about male-female relationships. Distorting them.
1973 The Supreme Court legalizes abortion, which would consign millions to their death.
1980s This new thing called cable is used for the wrong thing - porn.
1990s Into the abyss.
So, we have broken families, little kids cussing out mom in public, “just sex” on TV and in real life, like using a toilet, more than one divorce, and millions of abortions.
Bit by bit, Catholics are bringing a sense of normalcy back. Part of it involves turning off most of the 24/7 sexual garbage on the internet, TV and on the radio. Find a Catholic radio station or listen on the internet. And read your local catholic newspaper and/or go online:
Get Catholic news and listen to Catholic commentators instructing us and guiding us about issues of the day. The secular media won’t give that to you.
You have to get over this “hippie fixation,” Ed. I told you, I was one. We didn’t tell “young people” anything - we were the young people, remember? No one told us to grow our hair and we weren’t told by anyone not to trust people over 30, we just knew who the liars were.
If you are a generation older than we were, **your world stunk, way worse that what we have now. ** I’m getting tired of having my whole generation calumniated by you.
We didn’t start the fire. Got news for you - what we have now is WAY better than what we were born into. I’m the same age as rock and roll, Ed, and darned proud of my generation.
The last post I made… oh. It has made me feel rather… empty. Void.
I think, ultimately, the modern world - and I don’t doubt every previous generation, as well - is the “Gilded Age” of which Mark Twain spoke. Every age looks better than the present one. Every age looks gilded. Oh, if only we could go back to the Middle Ages, or the Stone Age, or the age of the dinosaurs.
But frankly, underneath the gilding is always something less valuable. I would say these times are probably the worst of all, because underneath the gilding of law and order we have nothing. For all the problems with paganism, none of them compares to the golden rule of relativism: I, and I alone, dictate what is right or wrong for me. The gods may have been demons, but at least everyone was accountable to them. There may have been corrupt church officials, but at least all of them were accountable to God. The may have been many Protestant churches, but at least all of them was accountable to their own interpretation of the Bible. Now there is no rule of law at all but what feels good and does no harm to the other.
I think it only a matter of time before we reach an ultimatum: turn back to God… or etch the rule of good down to only what feels good, whether it hurts others or not.
Even then, I still have hope. I don’t think, no matter how anarchical we get in the future, the Catholic Church will not somehow survive like a cockroach in the midst of a nuclear winter.
I lived out of the US for most of my growing up years, and I am too young to be part of the hippie generation, but I will say this - there is nothing new under the sun.
Thevarious sins and perversions we have now have been around in various guises and “popularity” since the dawn of time - including sexual sin, drugs, and a basic disregard for human life (born or not). The difference now has to do with modern possibilities for communion and broadcasting of these things.
We should turn to the light and work to be *in *the world, not *of *the world. Turning off cable TV and much of the internet is one way to keep our eyes and minds out of the gutter. As someone said earlier on this thread, we need to be the light of the world - the bright spot of hope and peace that will draw others to the light and to faith.