Most of us are too caught up in the details of the daily news cycle to step back and perceive major trends in society. We are inundated with so many facts, we become numb and don’t even notice as our values are slowly undermined. After a journalist watched a young boy play a violent video game for five hours on a plane, she reflected on how numb our society has become to violence:
The issue of violence is already a tough topic for people to listen to or want to talk about. Why? Because we are bombarded with gruesome images day in and day out. From tweens on up, what we see in the media, in movies, on the Internet, on television and the increasing number of so-called “games” is making many numb to it all.
A Parable About a Frog
There is a parable about a frog which explains this modern malaise.
Throw a frog into a pot of boiling water and he will jump right out. Throw a frog into a pot of lukewarm water, slowly raise the heat, and he will stay in until he is literally boiled to death.
Throw a Catholic into a pagan environment, and he will see the lies and ambiguities clearly. Throw a Catholic into a polite society, slowly change the standards and values, and he will stay silent and slowly die spiritually. In Evangelii Gaudium. Pope Francis addresses our apathy:
Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own.
Throughout history, our popes have tried to shine a light on our society’s failings and encourage the faithful to join them, to become involved, and to speak out.
We need to participate for the common good. Sometimes we hear: a good Catholic is not interested in politics. This is not true: good Catholics immerse themselves in politics by offering the best of themselves so that the leader can govern. Pope Francis, 9/16/13
Each successive pope has been rooted in the Spirit and in Christian culture and so has the freedom to view society through a lens of faith, delivering God’s perspective on current issues. The successors of St. Peter speak for those without power, without a voice like that of Pope Francis who encourages young people to speak out because they offer a fresh perspective on issues.
Young people, you have it in you to shout. It is up to you not to keep quiet. Even if others keep quiet, if we older people and leaders keep quiet, if the whole world keeps quiet and loses its joy, I ask you: Will you cry out?
May we all speak out courageously against injustice and immorality, taking our cue from our shepherd.
Copyright 2018 Melanie Jean Juneau