Lately, I’ve just been “over” the internet. As usual, the Republicans hate the Democrats. The Democrats hate the Republicans. The Pope is kind of awesome. The media misconstrues said Pope, but it’s ok because he is still awesome. Some scandal happens somewhere and feminists are enraged. Or gay people. Or religious people. Nothing changes.
The Huffington Post, in all of its journalistic glory, recently wrote about how women focus too much on the media telling them how to be happy. It’s cleverly titled “How to Get Flat Abs, Have Amazing Sex, and Rule the World in 8 Easy Steps” – in other words, every magazine we’ve ever seen in line at the grocery store. The article tells us to stop focusing on everyone else to make us happy. Stop comparing, stop thinking we can “finally achieve the good life” after we lose 10 pounds, make twice as much money, and figure out how to please the man in our life. Apparently to fight this, we should be kind to people, practice gratitude, and live in the present moment.
Why is it that whenever the media has a “breath of fresh air” it eerily, uncannily seems to reiterate what the church has been trying to say for thousands of years?
The Church is not perfect. Well, let me rephrase that, it is run by imperfect people. Yes, even Papa Fransisco. But the message of the church is whole and complete. So why does it appear so revolutionary when it gets a mention?
Of course society wants you to lost 10 pounds. Of course society wants you to feel sexually inadequate and made of substandard beauty! No matter how many times the Huffington Post, or Jezebel, or Salon attack this framework, it will never truly crumble because they inadvertently sway the pendulum in the opposite direction. Instead of losing 10 pounds, it’s all “embrace your size 10 body” when us size 2-ers here who have to physically work to keep on weight (I know, I shouldn’t be complaining) feel like we’re “contributing to the body image problem” by having a freaking high metabolism.
For me, my faith is the anti-dote to being human. There’s a lot of reasons to be sad in this world. There’s a lot of corruption, dishonesty, and misplaced worship in things like wealth, looks, and material. Two thousand years ago, Jesus did not give one flip about those things and it’s still a relevant message today. Even if you disregard the claims of the religion, you’ve gotta give it to them for making a pretty solid volume of allegories. (I mean really, who is going to argue with the golden rule?)
Contrary to popular belief, “being kind to people, practicing gratitude, and living in the present moment” are often sermon topics. Believe it or not, I’ve never heard a sermon about homosexuality, contraception, or abortion. Never. Now some people may have other experiences with a perhaps more fire and brimstone parish. But for the most part, I’m willing wager that the church really just wants to teach the gospel. And really, the gospel is a blueprint to living out the antidote to being human. Because it sucks being human sometimes.
So at the end of the day, that is a huge reason why I am Catholic. No matter how often the media, the internet, society, or some writer at Cosmo tries to tell me I need date more, sleep around more, and somehow magically get the perfect career while partying more, the cornerstone of my faith resounds its same song that it’s been playing for thousands of years.
Simplify your life. Abandon worry. Seek goodness. Cease comparison. Gather grace. Trust.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matt 6:34 NIV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests. Phil 4:6-7 NIV
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.” John 14:1 NIV
Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 24:14 NIV
No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Luke 16:13
And my personal favorite,
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21