I spent my Sunday night working with the LifeTeens. Better for them and for me than watching the Oscars. As Steve Sailer noted, the squabbling tribes of liberalism are pulling out the knives for each other without a Republican Emmanuel Goldstein hate figure to focus on. For once I'm actually confident the Republicans can win in 2016, no matter who they nominate. Barack Obama won the votes of young progressives who were eager to show off their social justice cred by voting for the cool young black guy. I doubt they'll turn out in such droves for a boring old cishet white lady like Hillary who, unlike her preternaturally skilled husband, is quite bad at politics. Here's hoping it's 1968 all over again for the Democrats.
The more I work with young people, the more convinced I am that the Church's current pastoral practices are ineffective at best, counterproductive at worst. Young people are crying out for challenges and discipline. If they can't find them within the Church, they stop taking it seriously. When I was a teenager, I found my public schooling to be too easy. I became one of those kids everyone knows: aces every test but thinks homework is a joke so his grades are only fair to middlin. So my buddy the youth minister had the bright idea for us core members to think of additional Lenten challenges for the kids to take on.
Before I go further, it's remarkable how much flak he catches in the course of parish politics. The funny thing is none of it comes from parents who actually have their own teens participating in the program. My attitude is to tell the complainers to go take a long walk off a short pier, but I'm a volunteer. He does this for a living so he has to walk on eggshells. The pastor, as per usual, has to maintain a careful balancing act between all of the feuding factions within the parish because if he pisses off one of the soccer moms, there go a bunch of his other volunteers who will probably complain to the bishop. I suppose one of the things I'm most grateful to Holy Mother Church for is confirming in my mind that I never want to work for someone else again. Never again do I want to entrust my livelihood and my future to the whims of SJWs or the nice beta guys who lack the spine to stand up to them. It's self-employment or starve to death trying.
Each core team member has a small group of teens they're working with. My group and I are meeting for daily Mass tomorrow at 6:30 in the AM. I've often thought that instead of sacrificing luxuries like chocolate or caffeine, us supposedly busy moderns should sacrifice our time by taking on additional time for prayer, such as praying 15 decades of the Rosary, or making a Holy Hour, or spending more time reading Scripture.