"Do not say it is impossible for me to influence others. If you are a Christian it is impossible for this not to happen. Things found in nature cannot be denied; so here, for it is a question of the nature of a Christian. Do not insult God. If you say that a Christian cannot help others, you have insulted God and called Him a liar. It is easier for the sun not to give warmth or shine than for the Christian not to shed his light. . . . The light of a Christian cannot escape notice. So a bright lamp cannot be hidden." (St. John Chrysostom)One can easily get discouraged by the current culture that is not only opposed to the inherent dignity of human life and God's plan for it, but does not even have space for common sense and reason anymore. Each news story beings fresh worries and anxiety for the future. How can we promote a culture of truth, of beauty, of goodness when we are almost forced into silence?
Silence. How unused to it we are! How ironic that we have have lost the ability to communicate when we have all the means of communication available. The early Christians certainly faced a predicament even more dire than our own, and yet they had no Roman Senators to plead their case, no wireless mediums to defend their cause; in fact, their most prominent leaders were daily being martyred. They could not take to the pages of the Roman Sentinel to articulate their position nor march in droves to win others to their side. How is it that they succeeded? Through sacrifice and silent witness.
The early Church had no other means but their lives to propagate the Faith, and pass it down to the next generation. Their martyrdoms were the culmination of lives given wholly to Christ. Their age was just as dominated by supreme selfishness, and so the antidote they offered was self-sacrifice: first, in their families, and then, often, in the arena.
The Christian family must and can bring joy to a society steeped in selfishness, and therefore drowning in depression. In Lumen Gentium, one of the documents of Vatican II, the Church stated:
"In connection with the prophetic function is that state of life which is sanctified by a special sacrament obviously of great importance, namely, married and family life. For where Christianity pervades the entire mode of family life, and gradually transforms it, one will find there both the practice and an excellent school of the lay apostolate. In such a home husbands and wives find their proper vocation in being witnesses of the faith and love of Christ to one another and to their children. The Christian family loudly proclaims both the present virtues of the Kingdom of God and the hope of a blessed life to come. Thus by its example and its witness it accuses the world of sin and enlightens those who seek the truth."Promoting a culture of life begins in deed, and leads to The Word Made Flesh. We are Children of the Light; let us live our lives accordingly.