I was so happy when I found that quote yesterday! Like so much of Dr. Kreeft’s writing, it succinctly expresses a much-needed truth reflecting on our modern times. (Also during my internet travels last evening I found this blog post, Five Positive Ways You Can Be a Catholic Rebel, on Integrated Catholic Life.) So, it’s not just me!
For a long time I have seen that most people have sold out to the popular culture, a culture which rots and corrodes more by the day. They think they are “rebels,” but they are surrounded by millions of people who join them, support them, and agree with them. The ridiculousness of certain ideologists believing themselves to be rebels is particularly poignant in the education industry, I have noted. People in academia really still believe they are being unconventional when they espouse very popular ideas: feminism, various ideas relating to the topic of “gender” (which is a grammatical, not biological term, by the way), a rejection of virtually all standards of morality in male-female relationships, etc., etc.. Running rampant through the halls of education, entertainment and media, and Western living, these ideas are not rebellious–they’re in vogue.
So the one who stands faithful the Church’s teachings is really the rebel. Can’t you feel that today?
I knew it in college as I never did before. Being ambitious for academic achievement from my Freshman year, and obsessed with eventually graduating with highest honors, nevertheless I willingly took F’s on several assignments during my years in a public university. In rebellion to the pornographic reading and films that the class was assigned, I would refuse to read and watch these horrible things, and then I turned in papers explaining why I was taking a stand and why the professors should not have chosen this material for class. They gave me failing grades on these assignments, but I believe my professors respected me–I did receive A’s at the end of the semester in all of their classes. Hopefully I left them thinking. I left school thinking of Our Lord’s words, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world if he loses his soul?”
If I had developed a manifesto during my undergraduate years, this would be something like it:
Rebel against immorality! Be faithful and true to your vocation and state in life, whatever it is. Shun anything wicked–just shut it down, immediately, no questions asked.
Rebel against intellectual dishonesty! Learn the truth about the nature and purpose of man instead of reading pop or academic psychology. See the human person as God’s precious creation with an incredible dignity and destiny. Don’t believe the lies of false and prejudiced historians, but get your eyes opened to the truth of the glorious history of the Catholic Church throughout the ages.
Rebel against selfishness! Give to others your love, time, attention, help, money, work, praise…give it freely and always give it with a smile. It was St. Therese’s way, Mother Teresa’s way–the way of all the saints.
- Rebel against ugliness! Only the best is good enough for God. Fill your home, your day, your family life, your church with beauty. In a culture bankrupt and devoid of true beauty, those few who are bringing beauty to others are truly a generation of joyful rebels.
Rebel against mediocrity! We are called to be saints–there is no other purpose to each and every one of our lives, so don’t settle for less!
As Catholics we are called to constant and continual rebellion, against the World, the Flesh, and the Devil. On the path to sainthood is a cross for each and every one of us. Being rebels, and picking up that cross as Christ did, is the way to salvation.
You must pray if you want to succeed in this. If you don’t pray a daily Rosary, please start today! Aside from Holy Mass, this is the Church’s most important prayer. Our Blessed Mother will help you rebel, in order to be faithful to the life God has called you to and merit the eternal life He has planned for you. Dr. Kreeft has written a lot about prayer, too, and he says his number one piece of advice about prayer is, “Just do it!” That’s another simple truth we need today and always. Be a rebel, and begin with prayer, right now!