Books for reference:
- iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood--and What That Means for the Rest of Us
- The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis - and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance
Cell Phones: Blessing or Curse?
- Why give a child a cell phone?
- What type?
- Who owns cell phone?
- Does child or teen take phone to bed?
- Dangers: Predators, bullying, porn
- What example do parents set?
"Many try to escape from others and take refuge in the comfort of their privacy or in a small circle of close friends, renouncing the realism of the social aspect of the Gospel. For just as some people want a purely spiritual Christ, without flesh and without the cross, they also want their interpersonal relationships provided by sophisticated equipment, by screens and systems which can be turned on and off on command. Meanwhile, the Gospel tells us constantly to run the risk of a face-to-face encounter with others, with their physical presence which challenges us, with their pain and their pleas, with their joy which infects us in our close and continuous interaction. True faith in the incarnate Son of God is inseparable from self-giving, from membership in the community, from service, from reconciliation with others. The Son of God, by becoming flesh, summoned us to the revolution of tenderness."
Loss of Faith (cf. iGen – not only practice, but belief itself): They are giving up faith in higher numbers and at a younger age. Interviews reveal that the typical age is 13 while 23% say they left the faith before age 10. When researchers interviewed young people they said things like:
"As I learn more about the world around me and understand new things, I find the thought of an all-powerful being to be less and less believable."
"I realized that religion is in complete contradiction with the rational and scientific world."
"[Faith] no longer fits into what I understand of the universe."
We have a big challenge - our children perceive a conflict between faith and reason. It's a *perceived* conflict because when you think about it, it doesn't make sense. After all, we have plenty of scientists who are also people of faith: biologists, medical professionals and astronomers who attend Mass and pray daily. The new Archbishop of Paris is a physician who practiced medicine for 11 years prior to studying for the priesthood. Our own Bishop Daniel Mueggenborg received a degree in geology before entering the seminary. In a recent issue of Northwest Catholic he addressed the question: Can a Catholic believe in evolution? Read the article if you haven't. The bottom line is that the conflict between science and faith is more perception than reality.
Problems with Evolution:
- Denies the dignity and equality of human beings:
On difference in moral disposition and in intellect: "Differences of this kind between the highest men of the highest races and the lowest savages, are connected by the finest gradations.”
“My object in this chapter is to shew that there is no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals in their mental faculties.”
Chesterton expresses opposite view: "It is the simple truth that man does differ from the brutes in kind and not in degree; and the proof of it is here; that it sounds like a truism to say that the most primitive man drew a picture of a monkey and that it sounds like a joke to say that the most intelligent monkey drew a picture of a man. Something of division and disproportion has appeared; and it is unique. Art is the signature of man."
2.Proposes a naturalism that excludes supernaturalism
Chesterton: “The essence of all pantheism, evolutionism and modern cosmic religion is really in this proposition: that Nature is our mother. Unfortunately, if you regard Nature as a mother, you discover that she is a stepmother. The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate...”
As an explanation of the world, materialism has a sort of insane simplicity. It has just the quality of the madman's argument; we have at once the sense of it covering everything and the sense of it leaving everything out.
Naturalism or materialism ultimately leaves out:
- Good and bad
- True and False
- Right and Wrong
Life is not governed by chance; it is not random. Your very existence has been willed by God, blessed and given a purpose! Life is not just a succession of events or experiences. It is a search for the true, the good and the beautiful. It is to this end that we make our choices; it is for this that we exercise our freedom; it is in this - in truth, in goodness, and in beauty - that we find happiness and joy. --Pope Benedict
Creational Monotheism vs. Epicureanism
The world, the flesh and the devil always have had great power, but today we find ourselves surrounded by a culture that does little to support faith - and a lot to undermine the faith of our young people. The default position in our media and educational system is that either God does not exist or if he does, he has nothing to do with our world and our lives.
The Bible invites young people to a different world view. A biblical scholar named N.T. Wright calls this world view "creational monotheism." It means that God not only exists but he created the world and sustains it every moment. Moreover God enters into a covenant relationship, first to the Jews, then to us all in Jesus.
To many people this worldview - creational monotheism - seems ancient. They contrast it with a "modern" view that leaves God out of the picture. This (quote) "modern" view, however, has been around at least as long as Christianity. There was an ancient school of thought called Epicureanism. The Roman poet Lucretius (who lived about a century before Jesus) proposed that "the world was not created by a god or gods...our world and our own lives are simply part of an ongoing self-developing cosmos."
From the beginning Christians battled Epicureanism. St. Paul sums the philosophy up with these words, "Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die." (I Cor 15:32) It's a deadly philosophy, leading to sadness and despair, but it didn't die with the coming of Christianity. A London chronicler around 1200 century wrote, "There are many people who claim that God does not exists. They consider that the universe is ruled by chance rather than Providence...nor do they think the human soul lives on after death."*
So the idea we are simply matter in motion has been around a long time. The difference today is that for the last three centuries Epicureans have been busy taking the mantle of science. They've succeeded in painting Christianity as anti-science even though believing, practicing Christians have been responsible for the greatest scientific achievements.
Prayer and Fasting for Our Children – the Daniel Fast: (Dan 10:3)
The Daniel Fast Food List
• All fruit – fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, or canned.
• All vegetables – fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, or canned.
• All whole grains – amaranth, barley, brown rice, oats, quinoa, millet, and whole wheat.
• All nuts & seeds – almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds; unsweetened almond milk. Nut butters are also included.
• All legumes – canned or dried; black beans, black eyed peas, cannellini beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), great northern beans, kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans, and split peas.
• All quality oils – avocado, coconut, grapeseed, olive, peanut, sesame, and walnut.
• Beverages– distilled water, filtered water, and spring water.
• Other – unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, or soy milk; herbs, spices, salt, pepper, unsweetened coconut flakes, seasonings, soy products, and tofu.
Foods to Avoid on the Daniel Fast
• All meat & animal products – bacon, beef, buffalo, eggs, fish, lamb, poultry, and pork.
• All dairy products – butter, cheese, cream, milk, and yogurt.
• All sweeteners – agave nectar, artificial sweeteners, brown rice syrup, cane juice, honey, molasses, raw sugar, syrups, stevia, and sugar.
• All leavened bread & yeast – baked goods and Ezekiel bread (if it contains yeast and honey).
• All refined & processed food products – artificial flavorings, chemicals, food additives, preservatives, white flour, and white rice.
• All deep-fried foods – corn chips, French fries, and potato chips.
• All solid fats – lard, margarine, and shortening.
• Beverages – alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee, energy drinks and tea.
Prayer: Rosary, Divine Mercy, Eucharistic Adoration, above all, the Mass
Generations of Faith – January 24, 2018