A Vindication of Wisdom, an Indictment of Cowardice, and an Exhortation to Action
I always had a great aversion to the “livestrong” craze; especially the yellow wristbands.
My reason for opposing it was similar to my reason for now opposing many other things that I am often chastised for my stance against (e.g. Harry Potter, yoga, certain genres of modern music/movies/shows, etc.): we ought not compromise and accept that which merely has good that can be taken from it (helping cancer survivors, in this case) despite its foundation being bad or its main thrust being bad (which I will presently discuss).
The whole inspiration (even if this is not what an official Livestrong foundation document would state) behind the yellow wristband was the exaltation of the life of a man (Lance Armstrong) — who walked out on his wife, who faithfully stayed with him through his cancer, after his rise to fame — merely because he demonstrated skill at a specific sport; “skill” which now is revealed to be thoroughly fraudulent. The Livestrong brand of inspiration was always a type of self-centered pseudo-hope, a sorry secular substitute for the supernatural virtue of Hope bestowed by the grace of God; the God who Lance Armstrong decided he didn’t have time for, preferring that typical modern mantra “spiritual, but not religious.” Lance, they say, overcame adversity by brute will and dominated all of his competition, and we need to be motivated by that. And so they were; they plastered his face everywhere and deluged society with the yellow wristbands to call to mind his story.
And now the Almighty, as He always does (in His own time), has demolished the false Idols that stood in the place reserved to Him alone. “He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit.”
What is the moral of the story?
A Vindication of Wisdom: If you have, with prayer, grown convicted of the spiritually harmful nature of some piece of modern culture; if you have consulted about this with Catholics holier and more learned than yourself, and if you feel a peace in your heart with condemning it, then you are probably right, and need not constantly doubt yourself.
An Indictment of Cowardice: I was always too afraid to say anything against the “Livestrong” craze because of how much of a sign of contradiction that would make of me. But we must not fear being a sign of contradiction. Remember, we live in a culture that murders one quarter of its children. Blending in nicely with such a culture is not something you’ll be proud of on Judgment Day.
An Exhortation to Action: Always act with love, and ensure that your demeanor is one absolutely dripping with mercy. But it is time to step up our zeal in promulgating Heaven’s ways, and nurturing a contempt for the world – the fruit of the third sorrowful mystery. “…you are not yet in your homeland; so go, fortified by My grace, and fight for My kingdom in human souls; fight as a king’s child would; and remember that the days of your exile will pass quickly, and with them the possibility of earning merit for heaven. I expect from you, My child, a great number of souls who will glorify My mercy for all eternity. My child, that you may answer My call worthily, receive Me daily in Holy Communion. It will give you strength…” -Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul.
*Note: I am admittedly ignorant on the details of Lance Armstrong, Livestrong, and this whole news issue. I speak only from general observations, and may have some specifics wrong.