By Deacon Tom Fox
For Today’s Catholic
God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.” Gn. 1:27
All of the advancements in education and technology have failed to address the most basic needs of the human person; who am I; what is my purpose? It seems there is a universal effort to reject what God has revealed about the human person and his plan which allows us to reach our potential for happiness now and forever. The present confusion about personal identity is magnified by social media. Every week the media offers suggestions on how to find that peace and purpose that seems to be just out of reach. There will always be a new fad, a new style, a new role model, but everything falls short of what is hoped for. Some people search for their identity by altering their appearance, which in recent years has become excessive. And now it is becoming popular for individuals (even children who have not yet reached the age of reason) to choose their own sexuality. This confusion is celebrated by our society, and especially in many educational institutions where young people are still searching for their purpose.
Much of this trend can be attributed to the sexual revolution of the sixties. Artificial birth control reduced sexual intimacy to recreation and separated it from the purpose of procreation and God’s plan for humanity to have an intimate trusting relationship with him. This opened the door to pornography which further damaged the dignity of men and women and has become a major reason for divorce. The more that individuals experiment with sexual fantasies the more they become consumed with lust which leads to sexual, physical, verbal, and emotional abuse. Our society glorifies sexual satisfaction as if it is the reason we exist.
When our lives are not ordered to God they are disordered. We all have issues we need to work with. Some of our challenges are with us from birth, some are imposed upon us by others and some are learned. However, in every case if we would turn to God, he will give us the grace we need to find our peace and purpose in him. He has a plan for every one of us that will allow us to reach our potential for happiness in this life and for all eternity no matter what our life experience has been. However, he must be part of the plan.
The way we discover this plan and stay close to God is the same as it has been through the ages and we have the lives of the saints as a testimony to how the love of God can conquer every challenge we may face. No matter what our difficulty is, there is a saint who had it worse than us and found great joy, peace and purpose with the help of God’s grace.
The plan is a daily commitment to prayer, which is our connection to God. Through the church he has given us the holy Mass which is the most powerful prayer on earth. He has given us the Holy Eucharist and the sacrament of reconciliation so that we may have intimacy with him. We have the Holy Scriptures and the teaching authority of the church to guide us and the live of the saints to inspire us. If we follow this plan and get connected to people who follow this plan we will experience the peace that only Jesus can give us. He has made us that promise and he will do it.
Deacon Tom Fox is co-founder of the Pilgrim Center of Hope. Living Catholicism is a regular column of this Catholic evangelization apostolate.