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Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver Colorado recently addressed a group gathered in a in Sydney, Australia. The topic was, “Mission Possible: This Double Life Will Self-Destruct.” In a chillingly honest fashion, Archbishop Chaput shares his thoughts on our lives today, as Catholics, and how we ought to realize our need to live wholly and completely for Christ.
We can't live a half-way Christianity. The organizers of tonight's event were right [those who named it ‘Mission Possible: This Double Life Will Self-Destruct’]. Every double life will inevitably self-destruct. The question then becomes: How are we going to live in this world? How can we lead a Christian life in a secular age? We can't really answer that question until we get some things straight about what it means to be a Christian. And that means first getting some things straight about Jesus Christ.
This is another one of the by-products of our secular age: we don't really quite know what to think about Jesus anymore. A few years before he became Pope Benedict XVI, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote something that is unfortunately very true. He wrote: "Today in broad circles, even among believers, an image has prevailed of a Jesus who demands nothing, never scolds, who accepts everyone and everything, who no longer does anything but affirm us. . . . The figure is transformed from the 'Lord' (a word that is avoided) into a man who is nothing more than the advocate of all men."
We all know people -- friends or family members or both -- who think about Jesus in these terms. It's hard to avoid. Our culture has given Jesus a make-over. We've remade him in the image and likeness of secular compassion. Today He's not the Lord, the Son of God, but more like an enlightened humanist nice guy.
This is, very much, the message in Catholic radio host, author, and speaker Teresa Tomeo’s new book, “Newsflash! My Surprising Journey from Secular Anchor to Media Evangelist.” Teresa did her best to live a half-way Christianity and found the great many ways in which such a life will self-destruct.