It’s so funny Matt Swaim from the Coming Home Network sent me this video today. This is a subject I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. Maybe it’s because my kids are becoming teenagers now and I’m horrified at what passes for Catholic education in so many ways. Or maybe I’m just a Catholic nerd.
But I think we do a horrible disservice to young people when we sell them all this feel-good stuff about the faith. Felt banners and easy listening worship songs might make you feel good but they’re not the basis of a faith to build on. Kids today are inundated with secular materialism. It’s everywhere. The culture is always evangelizing.
Chris Reibold is an excellent example of what I’m talking about.
He came back to his Catholic faith as an adult, but he left it as a teenager because he didn’t think it was intellectually sound. As a 16 year-old who was reading Nietzche and studying materialist philosophers, he wanted his teachers and catechists to respond to some of the questions he was wrestling with, but he found their answers inadequate or dismissive. Looking back, he realized he was matching a middle school understanding of the faith with an adult critique of it – a mismatch that wasn’t fair to the real and solid claims of the Church. Chris challenges Catholic parents, teachers and catechists to take the time to acknowledge the serious questions kids and teenagers have about faith, and answer them in a mature and thoughtful manner.
I think this is so important. I believe everyone at some point has to battle for their faith, their soul. And if we don’t give our young people the intellectual ammunition to stand up to the culture, they may fall.