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Top 10 ways to fight the ‘cultural war all around us’ offered by Serra International past president

By Caroline B. Moody
January 7th, 2008
The Catholic Moment (www.thecatholicmoment.org)

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (The Catholic Moment) — Christians are in the middle of a spiritual battle of “gigantic proportions,” says George Maley, former president of Serra International.

“There is a cultural war all around us. ... The battle of mankind is alive and well and we are losing,” he said in a December address to the Serra Club of Lafayette.

Serra International promotes vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Maley, of Indianapolis, was president in 1991 and 1992. A Serran since 1965, he is a graduate of Purdue University and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He is governor emeritus of Legatus, a business consulting firm.

“As the 21st century unfolds, we embark on an adventure that is tumultuous,” he said. “Christian faith is wildly spurned today. Our music and movies can’t be described in polite company. We are witnessing the death of the vision that ennobled men who created ‘Swan Lake’ and ‘The Pieta.’ … At the root of our cultural decay is a loss of conceptual convictions.

“All around us we see abortions, pornography, homosexuality and same-sex marriages. We have reached a crisis of truth. Much of the West can no longer effectively challenge reason — it is a supreme danger we face as a society.

“The simple, profound truth is that man is prey to corruption,” Maley said. “But, we have the Incarnation — the truth revealed to us when God became man. We know there is salvation and we are not doomed by original sin. We have a Savior — we have joy and the saints. Death is not evil, not to be feared.

“Our heritage is rich and our progeny can withstand the winds of culture. Our Catholic faith is not only for the salvation of our own souls, but for assessing issues against society today.”

Maley’s Top 10 list

Maley offered Serrans the following ideas to try to win the cultural war:

“1. Stay alert in the faith. Events are accelerating at a tremendously fast pace today — watch out;

“2. Pray for vocations with all your mind, all your heart and all your spirit. Be close to Our Lady and the Eucharist, like the vision of St. John Bosco;

“3. Challenge our youth and not-so-young about the priesthood or a religious vocation. There is a yearning for truth in our young people. They want values and they look to us for that degree of hope;

“4. Keep the sacraments, particularly the sacrament of reconciliation. If you’re going to be a spiritual warrior, you’ve got to be involved in the sacraments;

“5. Encourage our priests in their vocations. Adopt a priest if necessary. Loneliness can be a curse;

“6. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Contemplate your religion and relationship with God;

“7. Evangelize your faith to all;

“8. Keep purity of body and spirit flowing through your veins;

“9. Review what you want to leave as a legacy of your life in your earthly role; and

“10. In the words of Pope John Paul II, ‘Be not afraid of meeting Christ the King’ … live each moment to prepare for that final moment.

“Hope is the antidote to despair,” Maley said. “You are the light of tomorrow — you Serrans are the hope for vocations tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Keep alert and keep in the Spirit.”

Positive reception

“It was a very good presentation,” said Serran trustee Bob Senesac. “The world today is very scary. George was very thorough, and he is very dedicated to and knowledgeable of his Catholic faith.”

“The talk was very inspiring to be more active,” said his wife, Ceil Senesac. “With the times we are in, we all need to be concentrated on God, and not on things of the world. We need to have hope.”

“The talk was very interesting,” said Tom Hauslauden, Serra district governor. “He really tied in how the culture of America is having a difficult time and Christians are tempted by cultural behavior. George is a very unique individual.”

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