Something interesting has happened right under our noses when no one was looking. I’m not sure if someone passed out a memo or if it just stole upon us all when we were completely unawares, but this is a big problem:
Catholics today are afraid of the media.
Before anyone scoffs and dismisses this as false, stop and think. We tend to shy away from most movies unless they have direct parallels to our Faith in them (such as The Chronicles of Narnia) or unless they’re an actual adaptation of events in the life of saints or of Christ (in example, The Passion of the Christ). Books need to be tales of the saints, classics, or else not read at all.
While films and books that incorporate our beliefs directly are a treat, Catholics tend to hide from everything else that doesn’t show us exactly what we want to see. I’ve heard the excuse over and over again that Catholics can’t get too close to the media because of all the Fifty Shades of Grey type material that is swirling around out there, disguised as literature and film. But why do you think we’re seeing that stuff in the first place?
It’s because Catholics have let go of the media. We don’t dare become involved because it’s corrupted. We don’t give anything outside of the religious genre a chance and we certainly don’t create anything that appeals to a wider audience, even though those are the stories that can become popular and spread a message far. Instead, we seem to think that it’s a better idea to just turn our backs and pretend that the media isn’t there all together. As an author, a reader/moviegoer, and a Catholic, I am tired of this. I want to be able to go and find a book or a movie in any genre, on any subject, and absorb good morals from it; wouldn’t we all? But the reason that we can’t do that anymore is because we are afraid to write and film and produce those types of pieces. We fear corruption if we get too close to the media, or the scorn of our fellow Catholics when they find out that our work doesn’t have a quote from the Catechism in it.
I am telling you that enough is enough. Don’t be afraid of the media, TAKE IT BACK. Write the stories that have good morals. Film the movies that will convince watchers to try to be better people. If we want things to improve we have to nurse the media back to health with quality stories that have depth and value, inspired by the richness of our Catholic heritage. How can we let it be taken over by cheap imitations of art and pretend that it’s not our mission to fix it simply because “no one goes to see saint movies, anyways”? Rise up to the challenge. If no one besides Christians will go to see directly religious movies, then make something that everyone WILL see or read or love; just get the morals out there. We can’t pretend that the media is not our responsibility. When have Catholics ever just laid back and let something valuable go? Rise up and take it back. Make the quality and the morals and the goodness that you want to see but can’t find in modern art.
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.”
-2 Corinthians 5:20