I am writing this post in the teeth of Mr. Maurer, who just now demanded that I go to bed. Ha! Rebellion is so sweet.
First order of business:
Next order of business: Internet religion forums.
If you're a devout member of any religious tradition that wasn't cooked up within the last 200 years (though the most popular of which were born from a teenager's website within the last ten), and you have a hankering for some accute episodic depression, go to this forum, or better yet, just take a gander at a few pages of this thread from said forum.
Now, before you start having temptations involving 32nd floors or ancient Samurai honor customs, let me just suggest that the vast spiritual desert--nay, the wasteland--that is 'general purpose religion forums' is probably not representative of the actual youthful demography of this country. After all, the 18-35 year old general-religion-forum-addicted segment of the population isn't really scientifically representative. Leastwise, it doesn't take into account the Catholic-forum-addicted segment. :)
In one of my four (!) caffeine-induced brainstorm-during-class sessions today, I was thinking of what sort of thing, what message, what holy word could be uttered that would possibly dent this great wall of psuedo-dialogical jibber jabber. Simply quoting the Bible is pearls before swine.
But these little moppets--these atheists, agnostics, gnostics, 'non-denominational' Christians, wiccans, 3rd order priestesses of Ghiggolyidafrump, noodle-monster devotees, and self-proclaimed Jedi--are the ones I think about when I write theology papers, when I read all those textbooks, and when I think of a future Catholic parish. They're the ones that keep me on my toes. They're the ones who each individually has the power to transport me into total euphoria with but nine little words: "Oh, I hadn't thought of it that way before."
They are the ones that I am willing to study far past my quota of school years to understand. With regard to any life goals that might be called worldly, I want only to be God's instrument of grace for one of the postmodern lost, all the way up to conversion. I know any of them reading this would practically barf at my wide-eyed and condescending tone there. I don't particularly care. They deserve God, and the fact that a thousand cultural forces created these sarcastic, teeth-gnashing anti-Catholics doesn't dissuade me from believing that God serves their hearts desires and most important values--even the ones they think are anti-Christian.
Why are Internet religion forums the way they are? Maybe later--midnight now. Bed calls.