Living Saints and Pious Frauds

I once rejected Christianity because the message of Christ had been so misrepresented and distorted that it was impossible to believe. Instead of encountering living saints who embodied the spirit of Christ I saw pious frauds. Christianity seemed to be more interested in supporting and reassuring its followers that living for themselves was perfectly fine in the eyes of God. The Good News that Jesus proclaimed had been so adulterated that its strength, power and joy had been almost completely eradicated.

As I filmed in slums around the world, I slowly saw and felt the power the Gospel had to transform lives. I began to see, ever so dimly, that the ethos of seeking security and comfort for oneself and one’s family in the midst of widespread poverty and suffering around the world had caused a spiritual crisis. Like so many Christians I was guilty of ignoring the spiritual values Christ taught. I still ignore them. Truly following Christ is very, very hard…which is why so few do.

The Gospel requires us to turn our backs on the dominant culture of our time and follow a whole new way of life which frees us from the constraints of the pressure of conformity to the consumer culture and the constant preoccupation with the appearance of success and security. The Lord became flesh among the poor, and so what better place to be in order to prepare for the coming of the Lord at Christmas than among the poor.

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