Body and Soul
I am impressed this week to talk with you about the culture war being waged against confessional Christianity and the truths of God’s Word. This is nothing new, but we are certainly currently in a bad cycle. The push back against Christian teachings and morality has become more blatant and aggressive in recent years.
If, by chance, you don’t agree with this, my purpose here is not to convince you otherwise. Instead, my concern here is for how ill equipped we are to fight back. But let me hasten to describe what I mean by fighting back. I mean with the weapons of the Spirit. Such armaments always involve speaking the truth in love, refusing to lend credence to falsehoods, standing our ground, by proclaiming and teaching the Gospel of Jesus, and by serving our neighbor.
In general, we are not well catechized as Christians in our culture. That means, we are not well-formed in the Faith. This is for a host of reasons. But oddly, I do not believe they are primarily because of external reasons. Instead, they have to do with the pampering of the flesh and enticements by the devil along with the world. They have to do with sloth and misplaced priorities. And they have to do with thinking of discipleship primarily as an appeal to our affections, rather than responding to God’s grace with the whole of our being, especially at the core, with lifelong catechesis (read apprenticeship). Jesus said discipleship is a matter of being baptized and catechized in all that He taught (cf. Mt 28:19-20).
Lacking such formation we are not able to identify the falsehoods of our age. We latch on to every whim and fancy of the culture (cf. Ja 1:6). We care more how “we feel” about something, rather than holding up all matters to the light, truth, and scrutiny of God’s Word. We care more about the approval of man than of God! And we live as if this temporal age was our true home.
Since You Asked…
What is the purpose and meaning of our Votive Prayer Candles?
To “light a candle for someone” means that you will say a prayer for them. The candle symbolizes your prayers. When we light a candle it is a sign of attentiveness and that we are being purposeful in offering intercessory prayer. It is an important act in which we are involved! To be in prayer is to be spiritually awake and vigilant. And as the candle continues to burn it symbolizes our ongoing prayers. It is a sign to others that prayers are being offered. In such an atmosphere, indeed the darkness gives way to light.