Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Our Celebrity-Obsessed Culture and the Young

We live in a celebrity-obsessed culture, a culture that influences young people and drives what's fashionable and "in." Social media is also a powerful driving force in our culture. And that's both good and bad. But some things are out of control and there's nothing anyone can do about it.  I watched some of the Grammys the other night, the music was enjoyable. But when you look at what some female entertainers and movie stars wear, and how much cleavage they show, with slits as high as can be in designer dresses they wear, it's a lot to process. The shock of it all isn't so much a shock because it's become commonplace now for movie stars to dress like porn stars. And everyone just accepts it. And some young people emulate it and think it's cool.
 People of faith always have to have hope and in reality, people will always turn to God for the benefits of prayer, for comfort, for blessings, and to be in a life-giving relationship with God. But unfortunately moral decay, greed and immodesty is everywhere is our society. The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue this year is proof of that. Some people interviewed on news programs say, "What's the big deal?" But it is a big deal when a mainstream magazine puts "soft porn" on their cover and gets away with it.
Thank God there is a lot of common sense and goodness in our world too. I saw that on Sunday morning in a presentation I gave to young Catholic students. Their sense of right and wrong, their innate goodness in wanting to be good and stay good, inspired me. Children always do. They want to get it right. They believe in the power of prayer and goodness. Let's pray that amidst parts of the modern culture that promotes immodesty, young people will seek out the true, the beautiful, the decent, the good and a genuine search for God.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Spirituality and Blessings Surrounding Super Bowl XLIX-2015

I watched with millions of others as Malcolm Butler, a little known player for the New England Patriots, intercepted a pass with 20 seconds left and gave New England the championship. Malcolm was interviewed after the amazing catch and he said, "  I just had a vision I was going to make a big play." It will probably go down in football history as one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history, so his "feeling or vision," came to be.  Afterwards the rookie player said, "I'm very blessed." Well that's quite obvious to anyone who watched the game.  Good that he was grateful for the blessings he received.
I was reading an article in Sunday's New York Times Magazine section titled, "Tom Brady Cannot Stop," and I was surprised to read that Tom Brady's father spent seven years in a Catholic seminary before deciding that the priesthood was not for him, as he wanted to marry. Tom and his father remain very close, according to the article. Tom Brady attended an all boys Catholic high school, Junipero Serra in California.
According to the article Tom's friend, coach and "spiritual guide," and godfather to his younger son, is Alex Guerrero. They work closely together to keep Tom, "physically fit, emotionally stable and spiritually sound." Their mantra which they repeat often is, "Where your concentration goes, your energy flows and that's what grows." I thought that was interesting.
So blessings, positive thinking, concentration, hard work and I'm sure prayer, went into the amazing Super Bowl victory for the Patriots. It just had that unusual quality to it.

P.S. In reality, God doesn't take sides in football games, I know that, and probably some fans, family members and players were praying for their team to win, on both teams..........but it was an extraordinary win nonetheless.......