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WantingSomeAnswers wrote:

Hi, guys —

I'm a teen girl, and nowadays, it's almost wrong to be Christian, much less Catholic in today's society. I am not going to lie — it's not fun having a major part of your life laughed at and poked fun at.

That's fine. I know it's what's right in my heart and that's all that matters. The thing is society is changing.

I personally don't agree with abortion but I think it should be available for people who are unable or unwilling to take care of their children. I also think within a loving, married relationship, birth control should be okay. I think same-sex marriage is fine and people should do what makes them happy.

  • Are these views wrong?

Some parts of the Bible confuses me, too. I heard that it says we are not supposed to eat shellfish and similar foods.

  • Is the Bible the final ruling or can the Church let more things slide and not count them as immoral sins?
  • Does the Pope have to do this?
  • And, one last question, how can I be sure that there is a Heaven and not just a fade to black?

Thank you for your time!

WantingSomeAnswers

  { Since society is changing are these view still wrong and can't the Church let more things slide? }

Mike replied:

Dear WantingSomeAnswers,

Thanks for the question.

Let me continue where Bob left off from your last question.

You said:
I'm a teen girl, and nowadays, it's almost wrong to be Christian, much less Catholic in today's society. I am not going to lie — it's not fun having a major part of your life laughed at and poked fun at.

My colleagues may have a different approach to answering this part of your question but from my view, having your faith laughed at or poked fun at is nothing compared to what the Early Church Fathers endured.

St. Polycarp was 86 and was threaten to be thrown to the lions or burned at the stake if he did not worship Caesar as Lord, and deny that Jesus is the Christ.

The end result: they burned him! ... or tried to ... until they found out, miraculous, he wouldn't burn. :)  Plus, as they were trying to burn him by fire, he appeared in the fire, not like a man of flesh being burnt but as bread that was being baked and moreover when the flames reached his body, the narrator of his martyrdom tells us that the fire gave off, not the odor of burning flesh, but the aroma of baked bread.

Hmmm! For a Eucharistic people, I think that's interesting. They ultimate had to stab him to death with a dagger and with this a dove came forth with a great quantity of blood which extinguished the fire.

Your teen friends who are laughing at you or poking fun at your faith are probably:

  • uncatechized Catholics who have parents who were never catechized correctly
  • Protestants who have misperceptions about the Catholic faith due to what:
    • dissenting, or
    • uncatechized Catholics have told them, or
  • anti-Catholics whose sole purpose is to destroy the Church ... something that will never happen.

Share this web site with your teen friends. It will show them what the very first Christians, who were Catholic:

  • thought
  • taught, and
  • died for

No one is saying being a teen Catholic Christian isn't hard. It is! That's why:

  1. developing a daily prayer life with the Rosary, and
  2. living a sacramental life is key.
    (Renewing our covenant at Sunday Mass ensures we see things in the secular world as we should. When we blow off Sunday Mass on a regular basis, dissent will start to creep in and will we start to accept worldly, secular reasons of What is right — according to those who have no interest in eternal life.)

We live in a sex-saturated culture. I understand. What I say to all teen Catholics struggling in this area just:

  • follow the 2 keys above
  • do the best you can, and
  • don't do dumb things like receiving the Eucharist when you have committed sexual sins that haven't been first confessed in the sacrament of Confession. It's easy! A priest is at the parish every Saturday afternoon, not to accuse you or impose guilt; the point is to relieve guilt and apply the balm of mercy to sins so that they might be healed.

You said:
The thing is society is changing.

Your right, society is changing, as it does from generation to generation, but that doesn't mean the Church should or can change. People should join the Catholic faith because they believe it is a truth-telling Church on issues of faith and eternal salvation, not because it makes them feel good.

Historically, we know that it is the only Church Jesus founded on St. Peter before His glorious Ascension into Heaven and even in the Scriptures we see Jesus' closest disciples left Him over the Eucharist:

The Words of Eternal Life

60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” 61 But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But among you there are some who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. 65 And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.”

66 Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. 67 So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."

John 6:60-69

You said:
I personally don't agree with abortion but I think it should be available for people who are unable or unwilling to take care of their children. I also think within a loving, married relationship, birth control should be okay.

I would like to make three points:

  1. There are hundreds upon hundreds of Pro-Life ministries and groups that would be happy to assist the mother, (and father, if he's not gutless), in taking care of any unexpected, new-born infant, and providing educational and financial support for those with an unexpected pregnancy. Just call your local diocese. Even here in liberal Massachusetts,
    we have a Baby safe law where a mother can leave an unexpected infant at any fire station for care.

  2. Let's remember, abortion is killing a real person so you are saying:

      I personally, don't agree with killing, but I think it should be available for people who are unable or unwilling to take care of their children.

    Did in really mean to say this?

  3. The main stream news or media is not going to tell you this, but birth control destroys the hormonal balance within a woman's body. It is the last thing you should have in a loving, married relationship.

You said:
I think same-sex marriage is fine and people should do what makes them happy.

  • Are these views wrong?

Yes, they are. This is how I replied to a similar question.

You said:
Some parts of the Bible confuses me, too. I heard that it says we are not supposed to eat shellfish and similar foods.

  • Is the Bible the final ruling or can the Church let more things slide and not count them as immoral sins?
  • Does the Pope have to do this?
  • And, one last question, how can I be sure that there is a Heaven and not just a fade to black?

I don't know how to answer the shellfish part of your question but the Bible is not the final ruling, the Church is the final authority because Jesus chose to make the Church the final authority.

The Church came 350 years before we even knew what books were in the Bible.

It is sad that many of our separated brethren treat the Bible like a Catechism or a book of beliefs that Christians should follow.

While Catholics believe the Bible is the inspired, God-breathed Word of God, it is not a Catechism or book of beliefs. It is a liturgical book, meaning a book meant to be used in our worship service, the Catholic Mass.

You said:

  • Can the Church let more things slide and not count them as immoral sins?
  • What would Jesus say?
  • Would He allow divorce and remarriage if the original marriage was truly valid?
  • Would He allow the same sex activity Paul warns about in Romans 1 to be acceptable?
    (I suggest you read this portion.)
  • Would He allow mothers who chose to engage in sexual activity with a man to kill their new born infant? (He who said, Let the children come to me?)

What you are asking is:

  • Can the Church decide to let more immoral activities and behavior, be morally acceptable after 1980 years of Christianity?

The answer is easy!

  • Would Jesus do this?
  • If not, neither would His Church, the Catholic Church.

You said:

  • How can I be sure that there is a Heaven and not just a fade to black?

By having faith. Without faith there is no logical reason not to expect a fade to black.

CCC 166 Faith is a personal act - the free response of the human person to the initiative of God who reveals himself. But faith is not an isolated act. No one can believe alone, just as no one can live alone. You have not given yourself faith as you have not given yourself life. The believer has received faith from others and should hand it on to others.

I hope this helps,

Mike

Eric replied:

Dear WantingSomeAnswers,

You said:
Some parts of the Bible confuses me, too. I heard that it says we are not supposed to eat shellfish and similar foods.

God commanded the Israelite people — the descendants of Jacob — not to eat shellfish.

This rule always applied only to this people (whom we call the Jews today) and never to the Gentiles, which nearly all Christians today are. This is confirmed in the New Testament by
Acts 15:18-29.

Hope this helps,

Eric
[Related posting]

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