On Transformation and Change - Part 1

Today at the end of the 12:00 o'clock Mass, Fr. Nick's closing prayer included this: "May what you have consumed here transform your life."

As Roman Catholic Christians, we believe that the Eucharist, the Body of Christ, is the bread from heaven that nourishes like no other. Spiritually, we subscribe to the saying "You are what you eat."

And the meal is not only comprised of the communion bread that we partake in, but also the Word of God that we hear in the scripture, and even the community present in the congregation that becomes "the eyes and hands and feet" of Our Lord in today's world.

So by full participation at Mass and beyond, we "become what we eat." We become strengthened in our faith to live the Good News and make the world a better place for all.

Yet that is not our only meal. From Monday to Friday, we are stuffed full by other "food" that comes to us via society, especially the mass media. By consumerism, by racism, by capitalism. What is on the menu that we consume in our society? And how does it shape us?

Whether believer or atheist, if you are a person who desires to improve the world in some way, you are up against an incredible obstacle, namely the steady diet of political malarkey that you are fed. The diet that leaves you doubting, confused, fearful, anxious, and maybe filled with hatred for "those people."

If one is to truly transform one's self and one's life, where would you start? What changes could you begin to make now?

A few thoughts.

Turn down the news - Notice I did not say turn it off. You need some news. Like the weather. The traffic report. The obituaries and the movie reviews. Any crises or emergencies that may be happening in your area, like hurricane Sandy. And any good news that gladdens the heart and stirs the soul.

Question what you hear - There is a lot going on that affects you and your neighbors. For example, the rollout of new laws such as Obamacare. What do you make of it all? Let me share a secret with you about the news: You are not getting the whole truth. Every news outlet (not just Fox) is slanting the news based on their own political affiliations. So take everything you hear with a good size "grain of salt."

Seek the truth - In the Gospel stories, Roman governor of occupied Israel Pontius Pilate is supposed to have said, "What is truth?" The question is no less vital in today's world. Here are some words of wisdom in this regard:

Walter Cronkite: "In seeking truth, you have to get both sides of a story."

John F. Kennedy: "Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future."

So in sum, go on a diet from the worldly news. Turn away from the -ism's and the poisonous partisan bickering.

Tune into the Good News wherever you may find it.

And focus on making things better.

To be continued in Part 2.

Posted by Terrence Seamon on Sunday October 6, 2013


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