Some of you may be wondering why the title is in German. I have two reasons for this. First, German is a very rough and tough sounding language, and we are covering a rough, tough topic. Second, the word Kulturkampf has a history that I’d like to expand upon a little bit.
So what does Kulturkampf mean? It means “Culture struggle”. But it also refers to a series of laws passed by Bismarck, limiting the freedom of the Catholic Church in Prussia.
Bismarck sought to limit the power of the Catholic Church in Prussia, and mandated that priests be trained and appointed by the state, that parochial schools be subject to strict inspection, and that marriages be done by the state. It was one of the toughest times in history for Prussian Catholics.
This great fight was known as the Kulturkampf, and in honor of this fight I christen the struggle in our own day and age thusly.
That we are in the middle of a culture war is undeniable. What is scarier is that right now we are losing.
It’s not terribly shocking we’re fighting a battle. We always have been, even when our Religion was still Jewish. But we have never been on the defensive to the extent that we are. Out of wedlock births are up to 40%, a number truly shocking. Our legislative systems now only regulate Porn for their failure to provide closed captioning for the benefit of the deaf. Opponents to gay marriage are now verboten to go about their lives in ways totally unrelated to gay marriage. Contraception is now being regarded as a human right, and Catholics are being forced to pay for it. Abortion has plagued us for 40 years now. A full 40% of people admit to having smoked Marijuana at some point, and that number is growing.
Christianity has grown weak, terribly weak. 83% of Americans self-identify as Christians. But a mere 20% attend church weekly, and that’s all Americans, not just Christians. 50%-60% of Catholics don’t believe in the real presence, but among Catholics who understand what the Church teaches on it, only 10% don’t believe it. Which statistic is more disturbing, I leave to you.
Do you feel depressed yet?
“How did this happen?!?” You may be wondering.
Well, the truth is Culture wars are rarely fast, dynamic things. Fighting in them usually means fighting like that soldier in the photo at the top. It’s a slow, brutal process. Charges across the field are suicide, but just sitting there on the defensive and not pushing back isn’t going to help either. No quick, glorious flanking maneuvers. Instead, every inch of ground is paid for dearly, and we can only hang on and try not to go insane.
For years, the push has been driving us ever more forcefully towards immorality. In the name of compromise and ecumenism we gave ground as our foes pushed ever harder. Every protestant Church opposed Birth control in the 50’s. Deprived of the guidance of the Pope, by the 80’s almost every one of them had embraced it. Henry VIII, founder of the Church of England, introduced England’s first sodomy law. Several centuries later, The Archbishop of Canterbury weasels like crazy to explain why True Christianity is welcoming of homosexuals. As a Christian Culture, we feared to be dogmatic, and so became reeds, swaying in the wind, laughed at by our foes even as they took advantage of our weakness. The result was that not only did we not convert them, but we weakened and undermined our own faith.
Instead of Ten Commandments, we know have one: “Thou shalt not offend”. But even this one is flexible if your opponent happens to believe in the more traditional version of the commandments.
Is there hope?
Gewinnt der neu Kulturkampf. Winning the new Culture War. It can be done.
I started out by giving a history of the beginning original Kulturkampf. The story has a happy ending. Holding firm in the face of Bismarck’s laws, the Catholics became a political force to be reckoned with. It was, ironically, the very laws meant to reduce their influence that brought them together and made them a more powerful force than ever. The great problem for evil is that it carries its own seeds of destruction. It cannot last, and when it is destroyed, it will be largely through itself.
Many of the great evils of our time are centered around the family. It is from the family, then, that these evils will be defeated. Contraception, homosexuality, and abortion may seem convenient in the moment, but they have the problem that they don’t produce natural followers in the way that the family does. When the adults of today, scarred and battered, leave the culture trenches, who will replace them? Who will hold the front line?
It will be you and me, dear reader. We are the future of Christendom. The average birth rate in the U.S. is 2.1 per woman, which is bare replacement rate. Traditional Catholics, on the other hand, are noted for having significantly higher birth rates, both in the statistics and in my personal experience. Not only will the Catholic side be younger, more energetic, more…on fire, but there will also be more of them.
A culture built on hedonism, consumerism, and the worship of self cannot last when put into direct conflict with a culture that stands for something higher. It takes time, but evil cannot and will not last. No matter how hopeless the situation seems, we will triumph in the end.
However, we cannot just sit back and expect our victory to start happening. If we are to win this round of the culture wars, we must begin acting now. That one big reason why we have this blog and magazine. In order to bolster young hearts to set the world aflame with God’s love.
To win this fight, we must work on four essential things
How do you think we can win? Tell us in the comments!
Sunday, April 20, 2014
My dear readers:
I have the great opportunity of sharing the news that JESUS IS ALIVE! I am throwing a party, and you are all invited. Just kidding, but that would be cool. :)
As I am pretty sure I already have said this, but I go to the wonderful Easter Vigil Mass at my church. I had the awesome opportunity to go again last night, and holy cow was it amazing! The choir sounded like it belonged in Heaven and the service was so beautiful. I almost started crying at the end because it was so amazing! Like I said before, if you haven't gone to a Easter Vigil Mass, you really need to!
But enough about that, let's talk about Easter itself!
We all know the story, the women visit the grave and see that Jesus isn't there! He is risen, He is alive! How cool is that? How exactly he rose we will never know. But as Christians we believe he died and rose to life again for our sake. Now since we have heard the story a million and one times, hearing that Jesus rose from the dead is kind-of like old news. But imagine if your sister/mom/friend came up to you and said "So-and-so died and is alive again!" You would be in a major state of shock, no? I certainly know I would. :)
If your really think about it, Easter is the source of why we are alive.
If Jesus didn't die for us, we would be swallowed up by our own sin. We wouldn't want to live, we would just wait for our death and punishment to come. All source of happiness, forgiveness and joy would be vanished by the source of sin. The Devil would have reign over all of us!
None of that is happening because of the Resurrection. Zip, zero, nada. There is still sin in the world, of course. But we have mercy and forgiveness. We have a loving GOD that cares for us! All of this is present in the world because Jesus gave up His life for us and soon rose again.
Long story short, you should be pretty glad that Jesus died or else you wouldn't have a life. :)
When you think of Easter, what do you think of? Be honest. :)
Personally I think of eggs. Brightly decorated, fun eggs that we never make at our house. (we did once and that didn't go so swell... so you can guess why we haven't made them since). Others probably think of the Easter bunny, or just any baby animal in general.
In our culture today, they have little to no meaning whatsoever. But in our faith, they have a whole novel of symbolism.
The egg, symbolizes Jesus resurrecting from the tomb. When the chick (Jesus) comes out, the egg (tomb) is left empty.
Flowers symbolize life after death. Most flowers and plant life die in the winter. But when spring comes, they are as bright and colorful as the year before! This symbolizes Jesus dying and then rising again.
Baby animals (such as bunnies) symbolize new life in general. We are made new in the likeness of God through baptism.
Let's see... what else. Grass symbolizes no more winter?! :) I hope winter is officially over now because I am so sick of snow! At least this morning it bright and cheery!
So now let's celebrate! No more darkness, sadness and death. Only happiness and life reign now!
Have a wonderful, blessed Easter!
All through Christ,
Prayer is necessary for the spiritual life. One can’t grow spiritually without it. If you’re like me though you have trouble praying the longer prayers; rosary, chaplet ect. You would much rather do shorter prayers since you can more easily pray them. There are prayers though that are shorter, and have huge graces attached to them. Now these prayers don’t compare to the rosary, but they might be neat for on the side.
By Nick John
Well, guess what week is sneaking up on us? Holy Week of course! Holy Week is the week before Easter, and very well the most important week of our Catholic faith. It starts on Palm Sunday and ends on Holy Saturday. There are many different days and traditions in between such has Holy Thursday and Good Friday.
I know as personal experience, this week is one of the most impacting-faith wise. It starts off so joyous since Christ the King is coming in on a donkey, and everyone is shouting "Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest!" but then it slows down a bit until we come to Holy Thursday, and then it really stops on Good Friday. If you aren't for certain what we do on these days, be not afraid! I will show you the stepping stones. :)
So how can you make this Holy Week a good one? First off, focus more on prayer. Prayer is the power source this week. Also, try going to Stations of the Cross! It is a beautiful, inspiring way to really feel what Jesus felt during the Passion. For a link to a wonderful post on the Stations of the Cross, click here.
I wish you all a blessed and wonderful Holy Week!
All through Christ,
Hostetter, Aaron. "2013 Life Teen Annual Appeal: Expect Miracles." LifeTeencom for Catholic Youth. LifeTeen.com, n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.
Richert, Scott P. "Holy Saturday." About.com Catholicism. About.com, n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.
Richert, Scott P. "Palm Sunday- Solemnity of Palm Sunday." About.com Catholicism. About.com, n.d. Web.
Joseph de Veuster was born on January 3, 1840 in Tremelo, a small town in Belgium. The seventh of Frans and Anne Catherine de Veuster’s eight children, strong and energetic Joseph was expected to join his father’s farming business. However, Joseph followed in the footsteps of three of his older siblings. Two of his older sister’s became Ursuline nuns and his older brother, taking the name Pamphile, joined the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and the Perpetual Devotion of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Joseph joined the same order at age eighteen, taking the name Damien after an ancient physician and martyr.
In 1863, Damien’s brother, Father Pamphile, was supposed to join a mission of nuns and priests to bring the Catholic faith to Hawaii, when he got typhoid fever. Damien, not yet ordained a priest, received permission to go instead. On March 19, 1864, after a five month voyage, Damien and the Sacred Hearts Mission arrived in Honolulu. He spent the next two months finishing his studies and was ordained a priest on May 21, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace. Father Damien and Father Clement Evrad, also newly ordained, were assigned to the Big Island of Hawaii. His first parish was in Puna, but before the year’s end Father Damien switched places with Father Clement and began serving in the more rugged, northern area of Kohala and Hamakua. It was here that Father Damien spent nearly ten years building churches, spreading the Gospel, and Baptizing hundreds.
Sacred Heart Bishop Louis Maigret, concerned for the lepers (those suffering from Hansen’s disease) who were isolated on Molokai, asked for Priests to volunteer to take shifts and serve there. Four priests volunteered and Father Damien was given the first shift. On May 10, 1873, Father Damien wrote to his superior saying that it was “absolutely necessary” for someone to remain permanently at Molokai and that he would be willing to stay. Having been abandoned for nearly a decade, Molokai was in chaos, despair and drunkenness reigning over the people. Father Damien was seen as an instant hero to the outside world, but to the people of Molokai he was so much more. He served as a doctor, carpenter, engineer, farmer, legal advocate, landscaper, plumber, supplies procurer, grave digger, and coffin maker.
Although he was at times physically repulsed by the stench and disfigurement, Father Damien treated his people with compassion and gave them their dignity and respect back. Father Damien built houses, an orphanage, a church, and enlarged the hospital. He visited the sick and every house at least once a week. Ignoring the common practices, Father Damien also ate with his people, invited them into his house, and touched them. Under Father Damien the number of catechumens increased at first by tens and then by hundreds. Every day Molokai had prayer, adoration, Mass, and the rosary.
In 1884, after scalding his feet and feeling no pain, Father Damien knew he had leprosy. Over five years Father Damien suffered from Hansen’ disease. Sixteen years after coming to Hawaii, on April 15, 1889, at the age of forty-nine, Father Damien died. He was buried under the Pandanus tree, next to the Saint Philomena church where he had slept upon first coming to Molokai. It was there that he wished to be buried, but in 1936 the Belgium government exhumed Father Damien’s body and brought him to be re-buried at Saint Joseph chapel in Lourain, Belgium.
Father Damien was announced Venerable by Pope Paul IV in 1977 and was later named Blessed by Pope John Paul II in 1994. On October 11, 2009 Pope Benedict XVI named Father Damien a saint. Saint Damien’s feast day is May 10. Just as Christ calls us to, Saint Damien went forth and cared for the poorest of the poor.
By Hannah Elizabeth
By Henry B.
“Hey, sweetheart,” he whispered. The bedroom was dark, the curtains were drawn, and no other sound echoed in the silence except for his hushed voice. He was laying on one side of their bed, the beautiful polished mahogany piece with the king sized mattress that they had picked out together as their wedding gift to each other. It was the bed that they had spent every night on since then, the bed where so many memories were anchored.
And now, he feared that it would be their last night together on it.
He could see the silhouette of her proud body lying there only inches away from him. Her chest moved up and down, marking her breathing. Long shadows flickered across her form from her favorite rose scented candle, which was burning on the nightstand beside her. He couldn’t tell if she was asleep or not, but it didn’t matter. He had something to say to her, and he knew that it was probably the last chance he would ever have to speak.
They’d been drifting apart slowly but surely, no matter how hard he tried to hold on to her. It made sense in a horrible way, when he thought about it. She was vibrant, a devoted spokesperson for the causes that she stood for and the best friend of everyone who met her. Such a person could never be with him, a common working man, who hadn’t even deserved to have the time that he did with her. They would burn out eventually, as she was too bright. Too bright for everything around her. Too bright to be contained.
She hadn’t even spoken to him for the past three days. He was beginning to wonder if she could hear him at all anymore when he talked. But he had to speak, for the sake of everything that they’d been through.
“I was thinking about the day we got married,” he said into the darkness, his voice reverberating back at him off the walls of their bedroom. “You were so beautiful. Almost as beautiful as you are now. I remember that your dress was pure white, not the ivory color that your mother preferred. You told me you’d always dreamed of getting married in a real white dress. You looked like a sunbeam in human form.”
She shifted her head slightly. Was it just his hopefulness or was she glancing his way? His heart beat faster in his chest. She was listening to him.
“Listen, I know that we’ve had our ups and downs. I know that we’ve had to struggle with money more than I would like, and that I couldn’t always get you everything that you wanted or needed.” His voice cracked suddenly and he struggled to keep his composure. He had prepared himself for this talk for so long; he couldn’t afford to lose himself now. “But through it all, having you with me always gave me the strength to keep fighting on. I love you. I have loved you for as long as I have been given the honor to know you.”
Her breath whispered out between her lips, an almost silent affirmation that she was still listening. His hand rustled through the sheets, reaching out until her found her fingertips.
“There’s one more thing that I need to say,” he added. “I know you’re leaving. I know that you can’t stay with me. For the past few months, I’ve been trying to come to grips with it. I always thought that there would be something I could do to make you stay, but I guess I have to accept what I can’t control. We both know that you belong to bigger and better places.”
He felt a tear roll out of his eye, and he let it fall. Sitting up, he put his left arm around his wife, so that he was looking down at her. Through the lace curtains on the window a shaft of moonlight was illuminating her, mingling with the warm yellow light of the candle. He smiled at the face that he had loved since his youth: the gentle pink lips, the high cheekbones, the tanned skin and long dark hair. A shallow breath slipped in through her mouth; her eyes darted for an instant beneath the closed lids. She was the most beautiful woman in the world.
Even the cancer couldn’t stop that.
When she’d been diagnosed only a year ago, he’d been determined that she would be cured. But time had only brought more pain, until now he was at the point he had been hoping he’d never have to see: the time to say goodbye.
He watched her take another breath. Each one seemed more and more ragged, as if she were breathing out bits of her soul with each attempt. They had gone to see every doctor and tried every option. Now it was down to this one night, the last they would ever spend together.
“You’re too bright of a flame to flicker here in this dull world,” he said, caressing her hair gently. “So go on. Don’t worry about staying here for me; I’ll catch up with you when I can. Burn bright where you belong: beyond pain, beyond limitations, where death can no longer touch you. I won’t forget you. I’ll never stop loving you.”
As the hours ticked on, her breathing became more and more gentle. By the time the pink edges of the sky had given way to clear morning sun, she was silent. He looked down at her for a long, quiet moment when he realized that the color had left her face, and the hand he was holding had turned stiff and cold.
“I love you, my sunbeam.”
He leaned over towards the candle by her bedside and gently blew it out.
By Renee K.
We should all strive to live Christian lives . Most especially we are called by Christ to be the best example to others as possible. When people see your behaviour they should be able to tell you're a Christian. By your actions, people should be able to tell your a Christian. As it says in the Gospel of John 13; 34-35: "A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another."
People should be able to tell we are Christians by the love we have for one another. One of the best ways to describe love can be found in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8: "Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous ; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly ; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love
never fails ; but if there are gifts of-prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease;
if there is knowledge, it will be done away."
Let's all strive be good and holy role models. Let's show everyone how to love.
By Marcus B.
During the Last blog I did, I explained that Jesus is the Eucharist body, blood, soul, and divinity. Now in this part two, I am going to show the importance and give some ideas on how to prepare for this sacrament.
To start, let us view, a small part, the importance of this mystery. To start, in the Old Testament there were many holy things that were deadly of misused. For example, a priest could only enter the holy of holies once a year. It was so holy that there was a danger of the priest dying while in the sacred place. Thus, when the priest went into this holy of holies, he had a rope tied to his foot so that if he did die he could get pulled out by the people outside. Another thing was the ark. Now the ark had the staff of Aaron, some manna, and the broken pieces from the first Ten Commandments (remember Moses broke them when he saw the Israelites worshipping the golden calf). This could only be carried by priests. One time, while the priests were moving the ark, it slipped and was falling into the mud. One of the bystanders, Uzzah, reached out to catch it from falling into the mud. The ark was so holy, though, that as soon as he touched it he was struck dead. That was some of the many important things that had to be handled properly.
That was the Old Testament; let us fast-forward to the twenty-first century. Jesus Christ is WAY more important than the holy of holies, or the ark. We have Jesus Christ truly and fully present in our midst. This God, to which we are a grain of sand compared to him, is with us and yet he loves us so much that he died for us. The Old Testament people longed for their messiah, and we have him twenty- four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred sixty-five days of the year. The other sacraments are very beneficial to us, but the Eucharist is much more superior; “The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’ ‘The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself…” (CCC 1324). We have a great grace that many longed for. I actually shutter when I am at mass after the consecration, because I believe that the Host is Jesus, and how I am unworthy to receive him (that is an article or blog for a different day though). This is just a tiny segment on the importance of the Eucharist.
Now we come to how to prepare for this sacrament. There are only a few things the Catholic Church requires for one to receive the Eucharist. They are; you have to be a Catholic, be free from mortal sin, and have done a one hour fast from food (including gum) and drink (water is the only exception though). There are two areas that I would like to offer some ideas on how to get ready for Mass. One mentally; this means to get your thoughts in order, and your mind focused. To do this, one has to arrive at least a few minutes before mass, to meditate. If there is a Rosary being prayed before, there is perfect opportunity to say a prayer that really gets your mind in the right order. The other area I wanted to talk about was bodily. We dress up for sporting events, through the colors we wear etc.. We also dress up for funerals and weddings, but for some reason many people don’t think of dressing up for mass. Remember Jesus is the King of kings, Lord of lords, who created you because he loved you. The way we dress shows our feelings more than we realize. People around you see what you believe in the way you act and dress. These are some ideas on how to prepare for mass, and the reception of Holy Communion.
We have viewed the importance, and some ideas on how to prepare for this mystery. Unfortunately, like part one, there is so much information that I could not even attempt to explain it all. As always, I am interested in your thoughts, so comment your musings below. God bless.
By Nick John
Catechism of the Catholic Church. St. Paul Books & Media, 1994. Print.
There's a really important note at the bottom which is also in bold, so make sure to not miss it! :)
You hiding behind that screen.
If you're reading this, know that you're beautiful.
Don't let society trip you up by making you think the people on the magazine covers are the beautiful ones.
Don't let that boy at school tell you that you aren't worth it.
Don't trick yourself.
People love you for who you are, not what you look like.
Trudge through life with confidence, even if you feel like it's pulling you down.
I'm not saying life's going to be easy, but I'm saying you can handle it because
God only challenges us with things that we can handle.
He pulls us into the deep waters not to drown us, but to cleanse us.
And he gave you this unique, wonderful, beautiful life for you. For you. So you can spread the word, and bring others to Heaven where there will be one big party. Yes, with cake and ice cream. ( I knew you were going to ask that :) )
So stop doubting. Stop doubting yourself and your life. 'Cause God put you on this planet for that purpose, and it's up to you to discover it.
So go out, change the world. Make it beautiful.
Lately I have noticed a lot of people who feel really insecure about themselves. Whether it be because of their weight, looks, or just personality it makes me sad to think that these beautiful people don't see themselves as wonderful individuals. To all of you out there- you are so beautiful (or handsome) and so worth it. Never give up on yourself or life. So many people love you so much, and even when it feels like no one does, remember God always will. I believe in you and so do so many others. If you ever need some inspiration or need to talk, email me at email@example.com . Never, ever give up and stay strong. :)
Proud to say the latest edition of 'Fire of the Spirit' magazine is published. Hope you enjoy it! Please share it with your friends most especially the teenagers you know. Comment below to let us know what you think about 'Fire of the Spirit: Society Killed the Teenager" .
Saint Dymphna was born in Ireland during the 7th century. Her feast day is traditionally celebrated on May 15; but of course, you can pray through her intercession any time!
Saint Dymphna is usually associated with accounts of miraculous cures of mental illness and she is often invoked for those inflicted with emotional and mental distress.
Find the Original Here: http://www.praymorenovenas.com/st-dymphna-novena/#ixzz2xjKYweTc
St. Dymphana was born in Ireland in the 600’s. While at this stage in Irish history was predominantly Catholic, her father had held a strong belief in his paganistic beliefs. Yet her mother was renowned as a pious and holy Christian woman. Her mother’s faith was preceded only by admiration for her physical beauty. Dymphna followed in the steps of her mother, both in beauty and holiness. By the encouragement of her mother, Dymphna was instructed by a pious older women of the household in the ways of Christianity and was baptized at a young age.
Before too long, and especially encouraged by the young age of marriage at this time of history, Dymphna was courted by many Irish nobles. Yet she chose to dedicate herself as a consecrated virgin – completely dedicated to the will of Christ and his Blessed Mother, Mary. Not too long after this consecration, Dymphana’s mother passed away. Dymphana’s close relationship with Christ greatly assisted her during this time of loss.
Heartbroken over the loss of his beloved wife, Dymphana’s father sent out word in hopes to find a lady similar to his first wife in terms of beauty and strength. After much searching through Ireland and other countries, his messengers said that they could not find anyone who would even compare to the late queen…except the king’s own daughter, Princess Dymphana.
The king brought the proposition to Dymphna, who was obviously shocked. Attempting to distract and prolong her father’s decision, she asked for a forty day period in which to consider the proposal. She turned to her spiritual director, who told her to leave Ireland as soon as possible.
It did not take long, however, for her father to discover her escape. Not too long after, the King’s soldiers located the refugees in Belgium. When the King arrived at the location of his daughter’s hiding place, he attempted to persuade her to come back and be his bride. Dymphna denied the wish, and angered her father greatly. He called for the death of her spiritual director, who had been traveling with her. The priest was beheaded at that very location in front of Dymphna. Shocked and angered at her father’s cruel actions, she condemned his sin and spoke out in an evangelistic tone. The King became angry at his daughter, drew a dagger and beheaded his own child. She was 15 years old at the time of her death sometime in the years between 620 and 640.
The bodies of Dymphna and her spiritual director were untouched until nearby townspeople moved them to a nearby cave (as was the burial custom of the time). Years later, after remembering the occurrence of their deaths, the townspeople went to the cave only to find two beautiful tombs, whose appearance could only be explained by a miraculous event. There was a church erected over the original burial places of the two martyrs. The place has been renowned for cures of people struggling with nervous disorders and mental diseases.
By Chloe M.
Phew this is a biggie isn’t it. This is a topic that sometimes people will slide around. Or if they do discuss it I’ve found that they’ll talk about it as an easy thing to battle. But it isn’t. Temptation is an incredibly difficult thing to battle and can be the cause of many of our problems in life. And I will be talking about it as a young teenager who has himself battled with temptation and sin a lot in his life and still does.
By Anthony Geleynse
Firstly Satan and his demons are crafty. And they don’t play fair. They don’t tempt you when your in Church or on a retreat when your at a spiritual high. And when you make a resolve to not sin or to go on a diet they don’t attack you right away. No they wait until you are at your weakest and unready. When your tired, or hungry, or just bored. Metaphorical example: Your really hungry and nothing in the kitchen looks good when suddenly you see the half bag of chips. You’ve just made a resolve last week to go on a diet, but it just looks so good. Suddenly you can taste what they are going to taste like and they taste exactly like what your looking for. Nobody is around… and no one will notice a few missing… And suddenly just like that you have broken your diet and are happily eating chips.
So how do you battle this temptation to fall into sin. How do you keep to your resolve to not sin and to live for God. The number one tool is prayer. Now if you are a person who can keep a good resolve and continue a strong prayer life then Whoopee! Your well on your way for the battle of temptation. Prayer keeps you connected with God and a steady prayer life will incite in you a stronger need to do good and resist temptation.
But… what if you can’t keep a prayer life going? What if you don’t see to have the time, or you just get bored or something. The best way to keep up a prayer life is to start it as a group. If you have someone else who you pray with be it your brother or your friend or you mom or anybody it will help you both to keep it up. It keeps it as an engagement you don’t want to miss. Now keep this up. Even if it’s 5 minutes a day. Even if it’s 2 minutes. Just keep it up. Now if you can keep it up for a month you can move on. From there you can start to expand the amount of time. Until it grows to be so regular and important it’s something you don’t want to let go of in your life.So this is just one of the tools to battle temptation with. Another good one is to tell people. This one is incredibly difficult. Way more difficult then starting a prayer life. Because we never want to open ourselves up to anyone. Our sins are a very personal part of our life that we just don’t want to tell people about. But if you do tell someone about (make sure it’s someone you trust) then they can help keep you on track and steer you away from sin.
And the biggest thing you must remember is that no one is perfect. Everyone sins. Everyone sins and is tempted to sin every day. Not just you, or your friends, but your parents and your priest and everyone. You may not be able to see it or think of what it could be but they do. No matter how religious or holy people look they are all tempted and sin. So these are my words of encouragement. You are not alone. You are not a bad person. Just because you always fall back into sin does not make you a bad person. And so keep trying. Keep striving to reach that goal, bringing yourself closer and closer to a holy life with God.
'Fire of the Spirit' Teen blog is run by Henry B. To find more information about this blog, go here