The Beginning of a Catholic Culture
People often wonder where Catholic culture begins. I’ll tell you. In his beautiful chapter on new life in Christ in Ephesians, St. Paul interrupts his commentary on the nature of the Church as the body of Christ to talk about what this means for our lives in general:
Now this I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart; they have become callous and have given themselves up to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of uncleanness. You did not so learn Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus. Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph 4:17-24)
One thing St. Paul does not mean is that we are to live one way in private and another way in public, or that we are to affirm one set of values at home while consenting to different values in the larger community, or that we are to advocate one standard of conduct in our children and another in public life.
“Is a lamp brought in to be put under a bushel, or under a bed, and not on a stand?” (Mk 4:21) We have been bought at a great price, to be lamps. This is where Catholic culture begins.
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