Those Who Do Not See But Believe

A couple nights ago, I had a dream that I was at church, and after transubstantiation, the host fell to the ground and began to bleed. The amount of blood was great for the size of the host, and eventually the host could not be seen at all because the blood overtook it. Everyone at church saw this, but only some began to believe in the Real Presence thereafter.

Worst, it was mostly the children who did not believe. A group of our friends from church decided to band together and form a new church, leaving behind the rest of the parishioners who did not believe despite seeing the Eucharistic miracle of the bleeding host.

The reality is that I probably had that dream because I read the Pew article that revealed that most Catholics do not believe the core Church teaching that the bread and wine literally become the Body and Blood of Christ.

I don’t know why they don’t believe. I suppose it’s a combination of poor catechesis, priests not talking about the truth in their homilies, and the belief that science is the be-all and end-all and that if something cannot be proven using the scientific method and empirical evidence, it cannot be true.

The dream was something of a wake-up call. I learned that I need to stop trying so hard and rely on God’s grace. Because we are mere human beings, salvation is impossible for us to achieve by ourselves. It is only possible through God.

You Say

A Christian song? On the Top 40 channel? No way!

Those were the first few thoughts that went through my head when I heard Lauren Daigle’s “You Say” on the hit music station that normally plays only Halsey (but they play a lot of Post Malone, too, and that’s why I listen).

Actually, my first thought upon hearing the song was, “Oh, no, I hate Adele. I’m going back to the rock station.” (I don’t know why I initially thought “You Say” was an Adele song, but that’s beside the point.)

Normally, I can’t listen to singers with soulful voices because I get emotional and start crying, but I was so transfixed by the fact that the Top 40 station was actually playing decent music that I held back the tears and listened. Also, I thought I heard the word “God” in the song.

The singer is praising God, who always lifts her up and makes her feel worthy when no one else does. Her identity is in God rather than anything else. She gives her victories and defeats to God.

Finally, a decent song. Needless to say, it won’t be playing on the radio very long, so let’s enjoy it while we can.

The only downside to the lyrics is that they could be interpreted as supporting the erroneous mindset of many of today’s Christians: “God loves me as I am; therefore, I don’t have to change.” Well, yes. God does love you for who you are because he created your soul and knows you inside and out.

But God may not love some of the things you are doing, because some of those things may drive you away from him. In Catholicism, we do this thing called an “examination of conscience.” Every night, you’re supposed to go back over your day and reflect on what you did that was pleasing to God and what you failed at or could have done better. You’re supposed to thank God for helping you and ask him to help you again the next day.

The idea behind the examination of conscience is that we are always seeking to improve and please God more. We’re not just satisfied with sitting in our same old sins. We want to get to the point where we conquer them.

So I think Lauren Daigle is on the right track with her lyrics. Those who listen just need to remember to balance adoration and thanksgiving with supplication and confession.

Promiscuity and Pride

I don’t watch The Bachelorette and similar shows, but I heard about a recent bit of insanity that went down: The current bachelorette, Hannah, professes to be a Christian but ended up sleeping with one (or more?) of the guys on the show. One of the men competing for her hand, Luke, was dismayed by this because he also professes to be a Christian.

The two had a (probably staged) dramatic conversation about her promiscuity, in which Luke stated that he expected more out of her and basically called her a hypocrite. Outraged, Hannah shot back that Luke had a problem with pride, then made him leave in a limo. When the limo was driving away, she flipped him the bird. Nice Christian behavior. Luke may have indeed had a problem with pride, but I think he was just calling out Hannah’s hypocritical behavior as he saw it.

Last time I checked, if you profess to be a Christian, you need to attempt to follow that set of beliefs. If you know the truth and deliberately go against it, while still proclaiming that you’re a Christian, then you’re a hypocrite. It’s different if you’re genuinely ignorant, or if you’re new in the faith and don’t know certain things yet. The more you know, the more you are responsible for. And part of a Christian’s responsibility is to instruct the ignorant, but there are right and wrong ways to go about doing so.

This entire episode of The Bachelorette is yet another example of Christians being mocked in the media. Sexual sins are some of the easiest sins to call a person out on, and in reality TV, there’s that voyeur factor going on. Also, Christians are infamous for focusing too much on sexual matters, almost to the point that people accuse us of being obsessed with sex. I’m sure the producers of the show were trying to make a buck off that. Even so, it’s still a symptom of living in a post-Christian nation; other so-called Christians were praising Hannah for her dismissal of Luke. (You go, girl! Don’t let a man tell you what to do with your body!)

We all need a re-education in what it means to be a Christian these days. Yes, it’s true that Jesus loves you regardless of whether you’re a virgin or not, but it doesn’t mean that he’s pleased with your behavior. Think about Jesus as being like a parent: your parents always love you, but you can do things that anger, displease, and dishonor them. That’s what Hannah did, and the sooner she realizes it, the better. Man, I feel sorry for her future husband.