The Task of the Christian


I, feel something so right
Doing the wrong thing
I, feel something so wrong
But doing the right thing
I could lie, could lie, could lie
Everything that kills me makes me feel alive

– One Republic Counting Stars

 I was watching a film the other day that I shouldn’t have watched.  But don’t worry, I became really antsy half way and then ran off.  The film was about a young man who falls in love with a married women.  In the beginning it seems as though both are simply opening up a can of worms and will eventually realize that adultery doesn’t pay.

But then the film takes a strange course.  The young man is willing to go through heaven and hell for the lady and seems to really love her.  What’s more, she is trapped in the marriage, and seems to love him too.  Her husband what’s more is an uncaring and cruel business man.  It all seems to justify cheating on one’s spouse.

In one particular scene, the woman is wrestling with her conscience in a confessional, and she declares that “…she ought to love the one who truly loves her, even if that means leaving her husband…”.  (slow clap)

I was a little disturbed by the film for reasons I could not understand.  I took some time to decipher my feelings and came to realize that the film is selling values.  It is trying to justify something that is harmful both for the individuals involved and for society at large.  But more so, I think the work is trying to sell values.

But the problem is, is that, if we look fondly on such values then we may end up desiring them.

Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted  –  Hold on a second… who enjoys being poor?  Who enjoys mourning?

The Gospel itself contains values that are very much against our culture.  But if we do not as Christians desire these values, look fondly on them, see the merit in being poor and detached from material pursuits, then we will never pursue them.

If we are always attached to being happy and jolly and can never mourn and feel the death that comes from mourning, then we can never be open to the newness of life that comes aftThe Gospel contains values.  Film also contains values.

I think as Christians, we must be vigilant to how my values are being influenced by the greater culture.  How is the culture trying to get me to look fondly on something, which ultimately leads to death and suffering?

I think there is a training of values that takes place for Christians.  We search for where our values truly are, and then we find by means of prayer and the grace of God: the reasons, the affect, and the meaning in pursuing them.

Raj Vijayakumar works at the Villa St. Martin in Montreal helping with retreat work

  • Nancy
    Posted at 07:58h, 09 May Reply

    Great insight and indeed society does promote these values Thankyou

  • Peter Bisson SJ
    Posted at 10:29h, 09 May Reply

    Thank you Raj!

  • Ivon Bellavance
    Posted at 11:32h, 09 May Reply

    Think about values of the sacrement of mariage here is clear, wedding must be prepare long time and carying before. It is not just a trip, a tradition or a fantasy.

    The problem most of the time is because many women want to be a princess for one day and completely past away the real angagement that mean that sacrement. The men in the other side, just want to have sex as soon as possible but for sure, he most of time dont care about wedding. Thats why probably the women on that film choose to maried that worst man.

    Im completelly agree to be carefull about the values that the great culture past true every thing. Particullary values that not really care about any engagement to others, honesty, honor or just respect. It a really a big problem for all. Thats the consequance of the values of selfishness that going true our sociaty like a virus.

    Selfishness that come from the wrong understanding of freedom, that come from also another wrong understanding long time ago, imposing values without understanding. A mistake that religion and politics did in the past of our society we must be repair.

  • Lorraine Majcen
    Posted at 11:39h, 09 May Reply

    Raj, I love your post. Thank you for your insight into how our secular culture brain washes one, in such subtle and seductive ways. To look at selfish, feel good, pleasurable moments, as what should be paramount in our lives. These are real feelings, that are mismanaged, and creates confusion in ones thinking. So much so that one can lose sight, in what’s right and wrong. I so liked that you touched on something that is so prevalent in our permissive Godless society. We have to maintain constant and close touch with our merciful and loving Saviour. Satan is a deceiver and a manipulator focusing on pleasure, power, and prestige.

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