While Seminarian Bill has been busy interning for Love Begins Here…
… he has also found a bit of time for blogging. Enjoy this latest read.
If, like me, you are narcissistically obsessed with social media, specifically Twitter, then you are probably familiar with the common phrase/hashtag, #YOLO. Apparently YOLO stands for You Only Live Once. This seems to be a pretty common cliche for most human beings. In the Twitterverse, #YOLO is typically used like this:
“I’m going to party so hard tonight and make a lot bad decisions that I know I shouldn’t make! #YOLO”
“Because I only live once, I should do a ton of things I’m going to regret because I’m not going to have another chance to make such poor choices!”
Let’s break this whole #YOLO thing down in light of our faith. First of all, #YOLO sort of flies in the face of the whole Buddhist, reincarnation thing. For a Buddhist, what you do in life has a direct effect on what you’ll be reincarnated as next. So if I really mess up this life, I’ll probably come back as a monkey, a tree, or a tomato plant.
However, as Catholics we don’t really believe in reincarnation so this whole #YOLO idea might actually work for us, right? Yes! Except not the way you were thinking…
See, we do only live once. God has given us this one single chance here on earth. For some of us it’s long, for others it’s tragically short. We all end up doing vastly different things with our lives. Some of us will be priests and nuns, others will be mothers and fathers. Some of us may be doctors, and other janitors. Some moments in life are filled to the brim with joy, love, and peace. Still, some times of our lives are sewn with hardship, suffering, pain, doubt, grief, and hurt. This inevitably leads to the question; What’s the point of it all? Why did God create me in the first place?
Well, the old Baltimore Catechism asked the same question:
“Q. 6. Why did God make you?
A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.”
This Baltimore Catechism was written ages ago, so let me translate:
“Q. Why did God make you?
See its like is; we were made to know, to love, and to serve God here, right now in this life so that we can live forever with Him in the glorious heavenly kingdom. The key is “in this life”. AKA We really only live once.
Heres the beautiful thing: Jesus, in His perfect wisdom, hasn’t left us out to dry on our own to figure out how to know, love, and serve him. Instead, he gave us his Church, through which we have the graceful guidance of the Holy Spirit, the wonderful teachers that are the Pope, the Bishops, and Priests, and the Sacraments through which we are able to drink from infinite fountain of God’s grace.
With #YOLO in mind, we should not be making poor choices that we know we are going to regret. Word of wisdom: anytime you have to say “no regrets” before you do something, that probably means you’re going to regret it. Instead, we should be doing things are going to help us know, love, and serve God.
In essence, every time we are faced with a choice in life, no matter how big or small, we should think ourselves, “Is what I’m doing bringing me closer to knowing, loving, and, serving God?” We can’t live life on the fence, friends. God has a specific plan for each and every moment of our lives. With every choice we make, we are either coming closer to knowing, loving, and serving God, or not.
So maybe we should start saying things like this:
“Going to Confession and Mass today! #YOLO”
“Serving the poor in Christ’s name! #YOLO”
“Praying the Rosary! #YOLO”