We can often forget just how at odds the world is with the message of Christ. We try to live our lives halfway following the world and halfway following Jesus. For many of us, it is a daily struggle to detach ourselves from the ways of the culture and give all to God. We need to realize that to be Christian is to not be of this world. Christ tells us this when he says:
“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you (John 15:19).”
Indeed, the world hates Christians. It always has and always will. This is the hard fact many of us still need to accept.
But if the world hates us, what should our response be?
We should hate the world back!
We should not hate the world itself of course, for God created it and all things that come from God are good. Rather, we should hate the ways of the world, the ways of men who sin as a result of the fall.
If we love Christ and wish to become saints, our response to this world of sin and disorder can be nothing else but a complete and total rejection of it.
Now, many of us will find this difficult. But, as Christ says,
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money (Matt. 6:24).”
The world pursues false power, false glory, and false love. It puts its hope in lies. The world loves the lie. It values the false. It cherishes that which will pass away into ash and nothingness. It desperately clings to that which is temporary. It lives for the moment and squanders its talent and intellect.
As Christians, we are the opposite of everything the world proposes.
The world asks,
“Would you like instant gratification?”,
to which to Christian responds:
“No, thank you. Give me instead a life of suffering and sacrifice, for it is in forsaking the world that I gain my soul, and love everlasting in my Lord Jesus Christ.”
What a response!
“To conceive a horror for all the world loves and values”, as St. Ignatius says, is to sacrifice what is passing in return for that which is eternal. This is where we find true sanctity, not in the empty promises of worldly pursuits. Let us ever strive to reach this goal and ask the intercession of our Queen, the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the angels and saints, to live out this message.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”