I had a desperate need to be considered cool. In fact, it may have been the thing that I valued most through high school and into college. So when I started college, I absorbed the cultural values of the college campus wholeheartedly. I valued what the cool kids valued. I did what they did and I did it to a greater degree. I partied hard. I chased girls. I talked loud and brash (still working on that one). I hung with the cool dudes who would enable such behavior.
But, I was lost.
When I realized I was lost, it hurt. I didn’t like myself or my life. I wasn’t happy. I didn’t have a purpose. I didn’t have real relationships, just drinking buddies. I needed something and didn’t know where to look. I found it in a group of guys that had something I didn’t. They had joy and purpose. They didn’t live like the cool guys I hung around with. They were comfortable being silly. They didn’t party. They had a bit of humility. They were happy and this attracted me to them. They didn’t even necessarily like me, but they knew I needed something more, so they tolerated me. Still, they didn’t allow me to stay the same.
These young men met me where I was and challenged me to go somewhere better with them. I did. Because of these men, I am now a disciple of Jesus! What did they do? They lived in a countercultural way. They didn’t conform to the wider culture on campus (yet were happy than others) and it was the most attractive thing in the world.
This is what we need – Catholic disciples who live in a countercultural way, full of joy.
Counterculture is a subgenre of our wider culture that runs counter to the prevailing trends and ways of living. Many think of hippies or the fringe groups when they think of a counterculture, but I want to go beyond just being a fringe group. So, when I speak of a Catholic counterculture, I am speaking of what it can be within the Catholic Church, not what it is in other parts of the world. A proper Catholic counterculture does not need to be isolated, angry, disaffected, combative, overly political, judgmental, or unyielding. Rather, it is joyful, fun, engaging, deep, meaningful, filled with grace, and good. In other words, it reflects the nature of our God. So, how do we start to formulate such a countercultural lifestyle? We do it in the following things, that should be part of our life as disciples of Jesus.
Read more at Catholic Missionary Disciples