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.
It’s the Christmas season and that means carols, cookies, and remembering which week you light the pink advent candle. It also means family get-togethers and the inevitable gauntlet of questions and comments like: “My nephew got accepted to Harvard. Where are you going to college?” “I can’t believe your parents let you cut your hair […]
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…