“In writing to a young man, a holy bishop living in our times defines the ultimate spiritual crisis in this way: “Within you there arises the enormous question: ‘Christ or the world?’”
That really is THE Most Important Question Ever, isn’t it? Do we choose to follow Jesus or do we choose to embrace the world? Jesus tells us we cannot serve two masters. Following Jesus, if we are doing it rightly, will cause us discomfort, unease, and conflict with potentially everyone we know and we the systems of society.
The fact is that most of us hedge our bets and compromise. It seems inevitable, doesn’t it? The people we hold up as examples of following Christ, the great saints and various witnesses also seem to have been a bit strange. Francis and Clare of Assisi, for example, are by our standards anorexic and took no care for their healths. Time after time, I’ve mentioned the extremeism of the Desert Christians.
Choosing Christ over the world takes us out of what the world identifies as “normal.” Oh the other hand, doesn’t it actually take us to what God defines as normal?