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Raising the Bar
Most people are aware of the idea of reverse psychology.
If you want someone to do X, tell them that they’re not allowed to, or that they’re not able to. This tactic works especially well with kids, although you do need to use it wisely. For example, eventually you’ll come across a scenario where you tell them not to do something that you actually don’t want them to do, but they might think that you’re using reverse psychology.
There’s an analogy here for our lives as Christians. But, it’s not a perfect analogy, because some things don’t fit. The Ten Commandments tell me not to kill, and there’s definitely no reverse psychology working here.
But, if you tell me that living the Catholic faith — truly living it — is unreasonable or too difficult, then that reverse psychology starts to kick in.
Many people will use this argument in support of changing the Church’s teachings, especially when it comes to sexual sin.
As Catholics, we don’t need the bar lowered. We don’t need the faith watered down, or brought down to ‘our level.’ The Church and her teachings should inspire us to aspire to be more. The Church calls us to new heights, or to be a new man, as Saint Paul says.
Being Catholic, truly Catholic, is difficult though. It’s a challenge — we choose to be counter-cultural. But, if you tell me that I’m not capable of overcoming that challenge, then you probably don’t think very highly of me. Now, I’m determined to prove you wrong.
There are people out there who believe this about all Catholics — that we aren’t capable of answering the call to a truly Catholic lifestyle. That we’re better off if we change the ‘rules’ so we can ‘win the game.’ It’s a lie. The bar is already set. What we need today is men who are willing to rise to meet it.