Talking about relocating your family to friends and neighbors I am finding out is a difficult endeavor.
If you decide that where you are living isn't producing the fruit that you desire, and have discerned that it isn't alternative factors, but clearly it is the environment that is the destructive factor to the family, and you choose to share this revelation with others who live in that environment, you come upon two usual reactions.
The first is: a negative reaction since the person you are talking to happens to live in that environment that you are criticizing.
or secondly: agrees with you and thinks they should move also, or at least supportive, even if saddened.
However, the idea of leaving what is familiar, comfortable, and "easy" can be frightening. And honestly, many people often choose to close their eyes to many things if actually seeing them might necessitate some personal action to rectify (i.e. see no evil, no action required).
The idea of saying good-bye to friends and neighbors is not a cheerful event for anyone, nor is the anticipation of moving. One can't expect to have support from those that are staying behind, unless they can see the bigger picture and see God's hand in the decision (But that is rare ).
When I share our plans to relocate with others I can't help but feel that in some way I am giving others a negative message, however Not done intentionally.
When I say that the culture in California is so contra-christian I really mean it. That doesn't mean that there aren't some really good families and people in California, especially in Redding.
For some, Redding and California is an environment that they can grow spiritually, evangelize others, raise healthy Catholic children. The fact is that I know many, I am surrounded by many good people, some very good Catholics. But they are clearly a huge minority, and in the grand picture almost hidden.
Actually, I only know of a handful of solid catholic families trying to live a holy life, a family life rooting in prayer and devotion. There are other very good families but they don't see what the culture has done to them, is doing to them, and the most disheartening thing is that they think they are living a profoundly catholic life........
Many people have stated that by leaving California you are leaving the place that needs you the most, that we should be evangelizing the culture.
I agree on one level with that statement since we are all called to evangelize, but is it worth sacrificing our children in an attempt to make a difference in this culture of death.
My first priority is to raise my children with an understanding of God, an understanding of the Faith, and to teach by example. What if I decide that in the current culture of California I find it impossible to do so with the overwhelming distortion of truth that is so prolific here.
Do I sacrifice my children to the extent that it could lead to an eternal life in hell, or do I take them to a culture where I can fulfill my duty as a father.
The duty to form them, and form them adequately, so they will be prepared to identify the mistruths of the world, have the tools to withstand the attacks of the devil, the inner strength to evangelize others and secure an eternal place in heaven.
I am willing to give up everything I currently have in the sense of a comfortable job, friends, and a nice home, to fulfill my God given duty and responsibility to form my children to be strong and faithful catholics, to be effective soldiers in this ever growing culture of death, to realize that a materialistic society isn't God's view of community, and that the California culture isn't the norm.
If it is God's will for us to relocate next summer it will happen, God will provide the opportunity.
If it is just my will, I am sure that will become evident as well and that will be OK as well, since it isn't about my goal, but God's desire for us.
My desire is not to fulfill my personal will but to obediently and faithfully follow God's call and direction in my life and to be the spiritual leader of my family. I do realize that many of my decisions are counter cultural, can be unpopular, but are we not called to be counter cultural as Catholics.
If we are acting like most that are around us, and only 3% are catholic (Redding, CA), are we truly living a Catholic life, or have we adapted more to a "pagan" approach in life.
The rewards of this world are not the rewards of catholics, eternal life with Christ is to be our reward.
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