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Mark 7:14-15
Friday, June 08 2012

From Within...

Stop fearing the outside world, and start worrying about what is in your heart:

He summoned the crowd again and said to them, "Hear me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile."  -Mark 7:14-15, NAB

The topic for today is a source of debate among many Catholics.  If you disagree with me in any way, please feel free to make comments below.  This is a topic that deserves discussion.
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We live in a fallen world.  Society around us seems to become more and more secular by the minute.  Governments are doing everything they can to stifle the Catholic voice, and the liberal media has given us a bad name.  Meanwhile, instead of engaging the world, I know a few Catholics that are running from it.  Bad news.  You can't escape the world, and you can't hide from it.

Just recently, I was having a discussion among Catholic friends about popular culture - movies, music, television, the Internet, and other media.  The viewpoint of some is that we should cut ourselves off from the world with bold statements like "a majority of rock music is inherently evil and/or devil-worshiping."  Closed minds will not get us anywhere.

My argument, and the subject of today's verse, is that popular media is not the cause of our problems - it is our sinful hearts.  It is what comes from within us.  The world does not force us to make poor choices or treat people poorly; we do that on our own.  We can turn off the radio, throw away the TV, and vow to never go on the Internet again, but that will not stop us from sinning.

Listen, I am not telling you to go out and buy a bunch of heavy metal records.  What I am telling you, if you want to, it's okay.  Of course, modern media is full of imagery and messages that we should avoid, and I encourage you to be smart in your choices.  You are an adult, and you can discern for yourself what is acceptable, and what is not.

Anyway, living in a bubble may be fine for some, but I choose not to.  First of all, strength comes from facing a battle head on, not hiding from it.  If I live in the world (not of it), yet resist its temptations, I believe that it is strengthening my faith in some ways.  Second of all, as someone who believes in evangelization, we need to be aware of what is going on in the world around us.  It is difficult to effectively evangelize from inside a bubble.

Well, the decision is up to you.  If you decide to cut yourself off from modern media, I completely understand, and I can respect that; however, if you choose to face the world head on, I pray that you will resist the temptations the world throws at you.  Whichever you choose, may the Lord be with you always.


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