We twenty-somethings tend to break down our lives down into a multitude of categories. We determine our “modus operandi,” our way of operating, based upon whichever category we are in at the moment. Who we are with and where we are, as well as who we hope to come off as, determines how we think, speak, and act.
We have oh so many modes. Our school mode, our work mode, our friend mode. Our BEST friend mode (less reserved, more honest, and a whole lotta fun!). Our extended family that I see twice a year mode (a bit stifling). Our CLOSE family that I see all the time mode (where our true colors come out).
These “modes” exist because social norms naturally exist. We don’t talk to a mere stranger the same way we do with a best friend. And there’s a difference between what we want to share with our siblings and what we want to share with our uncle thrice removed.
However, when we feel like we are a different person in different modes, it starts to get dangerous for our souls.
When it comes to our character, we must be honest and ask ourselves: Are we jekyll-and-hydes? Does our character change just because we’re with certain people or in certain places? Are we different people when we are before the Blessed Sacrament than when we are at a party? Are we different people when we are hanging out with our friends than when we are with our family?
Our “mode” mentality leads us to making excuses for being immature, uncharitable, and immodest. Yet James 2:14 states: “So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” As disciples of Christ, our faith comes to life via our works and the way that we live. We preach the Gospel by our actions just as much as we preach it by our words!
God calls us Catholic twenty-somethings to be just one thing: genuine. And O, what a sweet sense of freedom!
We are always the same sons or daughter of God while kneeling in the pews, out at a party with friends, chowing down with co-workers, and alone in our rooms. We are the unique individuals that He made us. When we genuinely follow Christ, we will never feel fake.
Christ calls us not to merely exist. On the flip side, He calls us to be man or woman fully alive (as Saint John Chrysostom once said)! We are not called to conform to the world to be like-able to everybody. We are called to conform ourselves to Christ to be Love Himself to everybody.
Living a “unity of life” in which every category or our life is rooted in Christ, we will be able truly to glorify God and to become men and women fully alive.