The medias impact on society: a catholic perspective

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The media can enrich and enliven our lives is many ways. So it’s not hard to believe that it impacts our views on Christ and Christianity. Media such as TV, movies, and books put very Christian ideas into a culture that remains secular. Even art adds things in order to bring out a certain feeling or portrayal of Christ. For example since the dark ages the top of the cross has slowly been portrayed as taller in order to show that Jesus is the centerpiece of the crucifixion and to show that he was more important than the two others he was being crucified with. Media can also cause people who may or may not have a religious background to be misinformed. Shows such as South Park have made jokes blaming the crucifixion on the Jewish people, yet according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church “The Jews are not collectively responsible for Jesus’ death.” (CCC 596) To a group of people who were educated in the history of Catholicism it would be easy to recognize that this is a statement that is just looking to blame someone for the death of Jesus. To someone who did not know much about the Christianity but still considered themselves a Christian, this could mislead them to objectify a group of people on false grounds. Although media can mislead it can also strengthen our beliefs by comparison to stories of Jesus. For example the movie The Chronicles of Narnia was much like the story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus but instead of telling the story in a religious context it told the story in a more moral context. According to www.imdb.com, there is a quote in the movie in which Aslan the lion (who can be compared to Jesus) says “If the Witch understood the true meaning of sacrifice, she would have interpreted the deep magic differently. That when a willing victim who has committed no wrong, offers himself in a traitor’s stead, the stone table will crack, and death itself will go backwards. This quote is very similar to the story of Christ as shown in the book of Matthew “But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit.

And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked, rocks were split,

tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised.” (Matthew 27: 50-52) This is an example of media showing good morals of Christianity. “Society has a right to information based on truth, freedom, justice, and solidarity” (CCC 2494)

The primary modalities of Christ are the Bible, the sacraments, and Church. The Bible is important to knowing Christ because it is full of his teachings which help us to follow in his footsteps. The sacraments help us to know Christ because “Adhering to the teaching of the Holy Scriptures, to the apostolic traditions, and to the consensus . . . of the Fathers,” we profess that “the sacraments of the new law were . . . all instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (CCC 1114) This means that by making our journey through the sacraments we are bringing ourselves closer to Christ. Lastly, Church helps us know Christ because it is the primary education in the journey and teachings of Christ. The Church helps bring us closer to each other, Jesus, and God. The Church is nothing other than “the family of God.” (CCC 1655) All of these modalities of Christ are important to those who claim Christianity because without being a part of these things you are not attempting to bring yourselves closer to God. Without these things you are not able to understand and follow Jesus’ teachings.

What I find to be the meaning of the phrase “We are a limited people expressing an unlimited God” is that we are people who have only so much we can learn and only so much we can do whereas, God created us and knows all there is to know. We are trying to reflect God through ourselves by following his teachings and showing love and respect for one another. Though we may try, we can’t be perfect as God. We will sin no matter how hard we try to resist. We are not capable of being on the same level as God, we are restricted, God is not. God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. (CCC 1)

How there can be different points of view in divinely inspired scripture is explained by deciphering the differences between truth and fact, and also knowing what should be taken literally and what should analyzed for a deeper meaning. Just because their is “fact” in the Bible there are two different days in which the last supper is eaten doesn’t lessen the “truth” that it took place. Jesus once said “If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”(Luke14:26) Some people may be appalled by this statement but that would be if they took it in the literal sense. Those who looked for the deeper true meaning of this reading would come to the conclusion that Jesus is not saying to “hate” your parents. In fact he is saying that you should not let the things you love on earth get in the way of loving God. In other words you should love God over all other things.

We can learn a lot about Christ through movements and rituals. We have many rituals in our lives both secular and religious. When we go to church we practice a ritual which helps us to learn about Christ and brings us closer to him. According to the speaker in the Arlington a Field of Honor video, a ritual is an outward sign of emotion that you can’t put into words.” “ A ritual is rigid but somehow comforting.” What this means is that through rituals such as sacraments we can express things towards Jesus that we couldn’t do in our everyday life. These rituals give us something to take hold of, and they allow us teach ourselves new things about Jesus and how he impacts our lives.

After sitting quietly in silence for forty seven minutes I finally gave up. Though it felt good to sit still and relax and to let my mind go, I started to feel nervous. This wasn’t because I was getting antsy or bored, but because I was afraid of how this paper was going to turn out. Thoughts began racing through my head. Some of them were happy thoughts that I pondered on for a while, but some were worrying thoughts that left me uneasy. I got a lot out of this silence because I got to understand some things about myself. I came to the realization that I don’t always use my time or find the initiative get things done or try something new. I found a weakness in myself and thought of ways to fix it. Why silence is the origin of prayer is because it forces you to take yourself away from everyday distractions and think about things. It is a good way to talk with God to help you with your problems. When you have a problem that you have trouble fixing you need someone in your life to help you through it. God just might be that someone.

Bibliography

The Catechism of the Catholic Church.

4 Nov. 2003 20 Sept. 2007 http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM

The New American Bible

11 Nov. 2002 20 Sept. 2007 http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/_INDEX.HTM

The Chronicles of Narnia

15 Aug. 2007 20 Sept.2007 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0363771/

National Geographic.

Arlington: A Field of Honor. National Geographic 2005

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