Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Wonderful and Wasted Opportunity: Oprah Denies Christ

In this video clip, Oprah is interviewing several people on their views of good and evil and the supernatural. The woman in the beginning is a Christian, who argues with Oprah mid-video about the "ways to Christ." Oprah states that "there are various ways to what [Christians] call God," and questions the salvation of those who live in remote areas and consequently never know God. While she asks two different questions, the answers are easy and never answered in this video.

Oprah's statement, concerning the multiple ways to God, is a common and gravely erroneous belief today. Oprah elaborates, saying that her ways to God may be different than that of the Christian woman's ways. There is no such idea as wrong/right, or black and white. Rather, there are infinite paths we humans may take in order to achieve what I call my God. This is tantamount to Nike's advertising slogan, "Just do it." If a young man feels that it is morally permissible for him to steal money from his mother's wallet for his date that night, so be it. If a young woman feels that it is morally right for her to have intercourse with her boyfriend to make him love her, fine. However, we Christians are blessed to know that, along with a soul, every human being has a conscience. Whether or not we are willing to admit it, every morally wrong choice we make was deliberated upon in our conscience. We sense the sways and preferences of our consciences and must live with the inevitable pang of guilt when a moral wrong is chosen. Oprah fails to realize the gravity and universality of Natural Law; rather, she lives by a moral relativism in vain attempts to salve her hurting conscience.

The second half of the video, she asks about the salvation of those who never know God, which is a completely valid question. As a High School teacher, I frequently am asked this by my students. I confess, there was a time I was curious about the same situation. However, we must remember that God is not an angry judgmental God; instead, he is full of mercy and love. He is frequently stereotyped as a all-powerful rule maker who revels in sending people to Hell. Not true. God is willing to do anything to bring us to Heave with him; the rub lies here: are we meeting him halfway. We must live a good life and make morally correct choices. As stated above, every human person has a conscience which comes with a general, inherent knowledge of right and wrong. Provided that the person, while not knowing God particularly, makes morally good choices based on his conscience, the our Lord will bring him to Heaven. However, if the converse occurs, they will be unfit for Heaven and spending eternity with God.

As Christians, it is imperative that we educate ourselves on these and other answers. I find it incredibly sad that Oprah's questions were never answered, since to this day she holds the same beliefs. Instead of properly and adequately answering Oprah's questions, the Christian women simply became emotional and rattled out answers that did not make sense. I continue to read about my Faith and to know the answers that people like this ask. I pray that other Christians and Catholics do the same. We must fight the good Fight and conquer with Christ.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

When Will the Madness End

"I can do all things in Christ, Who strengthens me."

These words could very well sum up the last eleven months for me. I sat in my room yesterday, talking to my sister still at Christendom. She was excitedly getting ready for Spring Formal. I was only able to speak with her a few minutes, as she had a million girlish tasks left to do. I think back, once in a while, and remember my time at that school. It was only a year ago that I was there, myself, and was juggling classes, academic activities, social obligations, and my impending graduation. I thought I was so busy. And I was awfully scared. Had I known what was going to happen, I might have chosen to double major, tacking another year onto my education.

However, God is a clever man; there is a reason we do not know our future. From a car wreck to suffering the loss of a sister-in-law, I would be lying to say the last year's been easy. God is not done. I recently suffered such a Cross that left me feeling stunned and devastated. For several days I was struggling with discouragement and almost giving up. I am still scared.

God has given me quite a blessing though. For the last year, my swirling, crazy life has sped by at the rate of 95 mph on a slow day. I look back and I see a whirlwind of activities and events that have drastically changed me into the woman I am a year after my college commencement. On top of the Crosses, I've been a high school teacher--a job I adore. I have spent most of my energy putting everything into teaching my kids. But, the first of year of teaching is a hardship in itself. While it was a blessing, my profession only added to my fast-paced life.

Through it all, though, there has been this one constant blessing. As the rest of my life turned about me, I can see this person steady and strong for me. On a number of occasions, he's dropped everything and come to me. He's held me and loved me and changed me. He's inspired me and he's impacted me. And I love him.

With all the difficulties the year after graduation brings, God was immensely good to give me this man. Together, we have prayed and grown and discerned. I don't know where I'd be if I hadn't had him this year. As such, I can't say that I wish this year hadn't happened, primarily because I wouldn't have him. Also, the difficulties and Crosses have brought us closer.

The verse above, from Sacred Scripture, floated through my head all year. When I forgot it, my father would remind me. It's so apt. My advice to the Graduating Class of 2008: treasure your life left on Christendom Campus. Never will you have the constant opportunity to turn to the Chapel. Your days on the hall with your friends are severely numbered. The next year will be hard and there will be times you will be scared to wake up the next morning. But, God is there. God is holding you. And to make up for the Crosses, He will send grand blessings. And, above all, remember: You "can do all things through Christ, who strengthens" you.