Advice for a Young Catholic Man on Choosing a College
You may go to a school that gives good Christian formation, but if you live in what was formerly known as the West, you are immersed outside of your school in a toxic waste dump of a “culture.”
Dear John Paul:
Some good friends asked me to give you some advice about how you can be both a well-formed and informed young man as you grow out of adolescence into manhood This is a big challenge indeed, because even though, John Paul, you may go to a school that gives good Christian formation, if you live in what was formerly known as the West, you are immersed outside of your school (though hopefully not in your family) in a toxic waste dump of a “culture.” Since I am addressing you one to one, let me give you some advice.
First, talk to your history, English literature, and religion teachers at school (assuming they are serious Catholics) and ask them for a sizeable list of books accessible to you and in their specialty that can help you over time to become a well-formed Catholic secure in his faith and capable of both defending and spreading the Faith and Western culture to your friends in college and eventually to your own family. Obviously, know (and live!) your Faith the best you can, but you also should gradually grow in your knowledge of quality literature, art, music, and cinema. These will refine your taste and help you to sort out the garbage from the exquisite from a Christian point of view.
Second, ask some adults you trust and admire to recommend reliable magazines, journals and websites that can provide you with a sound and intelligent viewpoint on contemporary issues from a faithful Catholic perspective.
Third, watch as little television as humanly possible, avoid video games, and simply don’t ever “surf” the net. Along with your intellectual interests, there is a world outside of exploring nature, the joys of physical exercise, and sport, all in the context of your many strong male friendships. Always have a book or two at your side, preferably classics of Western (our culture) literature or world history, beginning with the United States and then turning to what was once Christian Europe.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
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