But Mom … everyone is doing it!!

If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?

All of us, at one time or another, has said this (or something similar) to one of our parents. If you’re a parent, you’ve probably even heard it from your own kids. And when you do hear this from your kids you probably hear yourself saying the same thing to them as you heard from your own mom or dad:

If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?

You don’t live at Everyone’s house, you live at our house.

We don’t do things in life because everyone does them, we do things because they are the right thing to do.

We’re not everyone, we’re our own family and we do things differently.

It is so easy as a kid to feel like everyone is doing something that you are not allowed to do. You start feeling a little like the outcast, like everyone around you is part of some special club, or you laugh at jokes and stories that don’t make any sense to you because you didn’t get to go to the movie everyone else saw, or see the TV show that everyone else watched, or go to the party that everyone else went to.

And then you became an adult!

Suddenly you could make your own decisions. No one could tell you that you couldn’t do something.

No one.

Or … maybe not.

Are there still things in our adult world that everyone is doing that we probably shouldn’t do? Do we still feel pressure from friends to do things that maybe don’t sit well with us? Does society tell us that there are things that are okay that our conscience tell us are not okay? Or maybe we know people who are doing things that we know to be against what our Church teaches, but … well … you can’t say anything because everyone does it.

I’m sure we can all think of things that fall into these categories in today’s society: pre-marital sex, cohabitation, practicing homosexuality, contraception, and probably many others.

Our society accepts these things as normal. But God does not. Just like any good parent, God wants what is best for us and sometimes that means something different than what the rest of society finds as acceptable.

We’re not everyone, we’re our own family and we do things differently.

As God’s children we must live in the world but not be of the world. Societal acceptance of sin doesn’t make it any less of a sin, it is still a sin. And yet, these “acceptable sins” in our society still affect our Catholic brethren just as much as anyone else in the world.

I remember my husband and I attending a pre-marriage class at our church during our engagement. It was held over a Friday evening and most of the day Saturday and attended by about 20 couples or so. On the first night the class leaders asked everyone to go around the room and introduce themselves and tell everyone how you got engaged. From the vast majority of the stories it was plain that most of the engaged couples in the room were already living together, and most likely not “living as brother and sister.” I remember being saddened by this as I listened to people’s stories but more saddened by the complete lack of knowledge that there was anything wrong with what they were doing. No one made any attempt to hide their sin.

And why should they feel that they are doing anything wrong? Doesn’t everyone live together before marriage? Isn’t cohabitation the norm? Maybe so, but like our parents said to us in the past:

We don’t do things in life because everyone does them, we do things because they are the right thing to do.

God says the same thing to us now. We will always be His children. And like a good parent He loves us even when we are led astray and wants to forgive us if we are willing to come back to Him, be honestly sorry for our sins, and ask for His forgiveness.

Rembrant's Prodigal Son

Forgiveness is possible. Actually, it is more than possible, it is there for us to have whenever we want it. Freely given. We just have to ask.

Are you in a situation that puts you in a position against God? Do you want to make things right with your Father in Heaven? If so, you can make amends, but you first must be willing to change your life and then go to confession to ask for God’s forgiveness.

Stand against the world, don’t give in to society’s peer pressure. We are Catholics, we are in the world, but not of the world.

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