It’s funny how fast it happened, and it’s even funnier how I was convinced that I wasn’t leading a double life, although I clearly was. I would drink with my party friends on Friday night, and then wake up to meet one of my “good friends” for Mass, breakfast, and studying. I would always drink just to the point where I would start to feel guilty, and then I would stop. I would visualize the Confession line in my brain, and weigh each choice against whether or not it would land me in that line.
Not going to the party makes a much bolder statement. It doesn't mean you're judgmental. It doesn't mean you're anti-fun or anti-friend. It means you're pro-God. You might think people won't notice or won't care, but you're wrong. No, the entire school might not take notice but some people will. Your courageous example to step away might be exactly what others need to see to do the same. There are others who, if given another option, would rather not be at the party.
I talk to teenagers just about every day, and the conversations are often the same. They deal with the Bible and what the Church teaches and how challenging it can be to live a holy life in an unholy culture. I'd say that most teens that I talk to are truly looking for the Lord; some, however, are looking less for the Lord and more for the 'loopholes.' For instance: 'I heard that the Bible doesn't say drinking alcohol is a sin.'
'Well, no, the Bible does not say that drinking alcohol is a sin,' I respond. I then go on to explain that it does become sinful (very easily), if any of the following happen…
“I understand that you like getting wasted and see it as the ultimate exercise of young freedom, I used to think that way, too. The reality, though, is that it’s a lie. Freedom is not “doing whatever you want.” Freedom is the capacity to love and to do what is right. Alcohol, like any drug, enslaves the human person. Saint Patrick went to Ireland to free the slaves with the Gospel.
As a homeschooler, my prom experience wasn't exactly the kind of thing you see in the movies. Instead of a giant museum hall filled with balloons, streamers, and an amazing DJ, I had a boombox and some microwave taquitos.