I read Archbishop Chaput’s book STRANGERS IN A STRANGE LAND: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World earlier this year and forgot to blog about the book. I don’t think it was as good as his previous book RENDER UNTO CEASAR but timely in its commentary. The author describes how our culture has abandoned its Christian roots so totally that like the first Christians, we are indeed living as strangers in a strange land. Citizens of the heavenly kingdom, we find ourselves living in a world of vice hailed as good, and virtue mocked as idiotic. Into this culture we are to work and still hold fast to what Christ has given us in the Catholic Faith. Simply not easy to do.
The author discusses how the world around us has not only changed in degree from Christianity fully lived (backslid from Christian ideals but still agreeing those ideals are good) but has passed over into a difference in KIND and Christians must brace themselves for the internal battle to seek holiness in a place that loathes holiness.
I recommend the book because everyone needs to look at the world around us from this perspective and most of us miss obvious things. Things like men being mocked when they choose to go home to their families rather than take on the extra project. It is difficult enough to maintain a good balance without co-workers mocking you for trying! Christians are family people. The needs of both spouses matter and a true Christian is not going to mock a co-worker for wanting to partner with his spouse rather than use her!
Using people has become a way of life in our culture and when a Christian chooses NOT to use others as objects this will often cause blow back. It is as if one man choosing to honor his wife as his true equal is anathema to those accustomed to using their spouses.
At any rate, the book was good, it is worth taking the time to read it.
Dear Lord, please help us to live as true Christians in the midst of the culture no matter how far the culture has gone. +Amen.