Cultural and political causes are so numerous, there might be a vending machine market for them. The drama of modern discourse is a whirlwind of news, blogs, and tweets that carries enough with it to feed an internet junkie all day every day. At least a video game has something resembling a beginning, a middle, and an end.
There is nothing wrong with believing in a cause or jumping into the debate. A good Catholic is not going to simply sit by and allow matters to run wild without a warning that something is very wrong. In that sense, there is work to be done.
But, there is the temptation to pursue the cause merely for the thrill of the fight. Fevered typing on a keyboard in heated debate with someone somewhere out there on the information super highway easily devolves into a case of virtual road rage.
Writing or Crisis Magazine, Bishop James D. Conley states
My good friend Chris Stefanick, a wise speaker and author, wrote last week that we should “read less news,” and “read more Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.” He’s right. We won’t be happier, or wiser, or more peaceful because we consume more of the “age of noise” than we need.
Americans are obsessed with consuming news and controversy because politics is where they derive their identity and morality. In the noise they seek God and fail to find happiness. And happiness is an important facet of the Catholic life.
The Beatitudes respond to the natural desire for happiness. This desire is of divine origin: God has placed it in the human heart in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it (CCC 1718).
I’m all for pursuing the cause of a Traditional Catholic faith and for exploring the political theories of the Alt-Right, but these are the effect and not the cause. What I ultimately seek is to find fulfillment as best I can of the natural desire for happiness. Not only that, but to try to point to others where happiness is found and expose the destructive roots of false happiness. The idea of happiness sounds sugary and childish, but that is only because the modern lusts have lied to men about where true happiness is.
As of the writing of this article, America is still essentially a peaceful nation. There are no major wars or disasters afflicting its citizens. This I believe is a grace from God and I want to be grateful for it by avoiding the temptation of obsessive misery that comes from constant pursuit of controversy.
In my desire to fight, I should not forget to live.