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The Light of the Catholic Message

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In our contemporary world what is considered appropriate language and what is deemed inappropriate is relativism at its best and the message of the gospels may become lost in the chaos of linguistic double speak.
We see this play out in movies and literature when the common themes of good versus evil tip the verbal scales. By using an epicurean approach to evil as the core of our nature to do harm and the inability to attribute goodness to God, we find a no-holds-barred method of illustrating evil at its worst and a tap-dancing style that steers away from the idea that love and goodness come from God, for fear that we might offend someone.
In the recent film, Winter’s Tale, based on the 1983 novel by Mark Halprin, we see a timeless love story play out in the midst of a fierce battle between good and evil. It is the stuff fairy tales are made of – the problem is when it comes to evil, they pull out all the stops. It’s okay to refer to the Devil by name, Lucifer. It is also acceptable to label the evildoers as demons. What soon becomes evident is that good deeds are helped by forces of the universe (not God), and when we die we become stars in the universe (not saints). It’s appropriate to call a spade, a spade, but the King of Hearts is just a nameless card in the deck.
When Catholics attempt to attribute their beliefs to their love for God and His Holy Church, they are quickly labeled as a group of haters that are intolerant. Intolerant of what – sin? The Catholic message is to adhere closely to the teachings of Christ. Jesus did not mince words, nor did his followers. In Matthew 4:1 we read that “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil.” He was not tempted by his own human nature, there was an entity that was present to tempt him. "Away to the eternal fire, which has been prepared for the Devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).
But Jesus also gives credit to goodness where credit is due. In Matthew 5:16, Jesus says “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” The good that exists in the world gives glory to God, our Father in heaven, not the forces of the universe and not the stars.
Christ’s message, and that of the Catholic Church, is to acknowledge evil for what it is, but also to show forth the love of God by living Jesus. As humans we do not have the physical capability or the mechanical ingenuity to see the entire universe at once, but through the heart of love, the heart of Jesus Christ, we see God. As Catholics we have a responsibility to shine the light of God more brightly in a world preoccupied with evil, we can do this through love and giving praise to God our Heavenly Father, not the universe or the stars!

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