Holy Family

Holy Family

Friday, September 2, 2011

Feast of Saint Ingrid of Sweden

Good morning. Four years ago Pope Benedict XVI met with a large gathering of Italian youth and he spoke to them of the need to be cautious with regard to the messages put forth by the mass media and popular culture. He encouraged them to be "vigilant and critical" and he challenged them to dare to be different. “Swim against the tide!” was the exhortation our pontiff proposed to the 300,000 young people who had gathered in Loreto on September 3, 2007. In today’s Gospel we are likewise challenged to be different. The world needs to hear more of this. Seemingly, the more parents strive for their children to establish identity, the more they become part of a homogenized image of sameness projected by the mass media and popular culture. Individuality is discouraged; it is all about fitting in. It is about affluence; self awareness doesn’t matter as long as one is fitting in. Children today are encouraged to look to themselves as simply how they fit in with the image projected by the mass media and popular culture. The idea of being part of something bigger than themselves is not encouraged. It is all about me and what best works for me. As a result relationships become disingenuous and pretentious; it is all about what will best attend to my needs. People like everything else become commodities to use as one sees fit, as it serves their own individual needs. As our Pope noted with the youth four years ago there in Loreto, our children need to be challenged to see things beyond those messages which promote "lifestyles based…on self-interest and success at all cost, on appearances, and on possessions." As parents we need to encourage our children to be different, to allow them to appreciate that it is okay to be themselves, and most importantly that they are part of something greater than themselves. Make a great day!

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and works of Saint Ingrid of Sweden.

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