The world presses us

Friends in Christ, in a study published in Psychological Science, it was shown that men often judge a woman as more attractive when they believe that their peers find that woman attractive. According to the study’s author, this theory of conformity shows that people are not concealing their own preferences, they have actually aligned their minds with the others.'[i]
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To us who are not psychologists, it is surprising how easily people will follow the crowd. People who do not base their life on firm convictions and beliefs, will easily follow whatever is the “in thing.” Today, many people who grew up Catholic, easily go along with whatever the latest trend is, even if it is against the teachings of the Church.
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A stunning example of this is the almost over-night conformity to the supposed ‘gay-marriage’ idea. But there are many other examples. The devil often uses this power of ‘group think’, to lead many astray. It is explained probably best by this psychological theory of conformity. It’s not that people hide their true idea on the subject just to get along; it is that they have literally been convinced, not by logic, but merely because their friends and the media tell them.
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We read today in the Acts of the Apostles, of the first persecution against the Church. ‘There broke out a severe persecution of the Church in Jerusalem, and all were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria.’ The teachings of those first Christians did not fit in with the ideas of the majority: ‘What you believe is not acceptable!’, they said. ‘And entering house after house they dragged out men and women, and handed them over for imprisonment.’
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Since the very beginning of the Church, this has been the reality. Many people will accept whatever the world says for today, but those who live for Christ, who actually have convictions and Faith – they will never go along with the latest trend of the day.
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At times, the ideas of the world are not far off from ours, and this is when society is somewhat Christian. We had that for a while – then it was easy to coast along as a Catholic. But those days are over. To be a follower of Jesus means being different. But we must have a merciful heart toward the weak, who easily fall for the latest trends. As St. Paul said, we must help those who are weak in faith.[ii]

 

[i] Scientific American, Aug 25, 2011

[ii] See Romans 14:1

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