The middle school youth will develop a deeper understanding of the effects of the media on their lives. They will be challenged to be conformed to Christ, rather than the influences from TV, magazines, and the Internet.
The media is constantly bombarding people today, especially young people, with images of what it means to be popular, valued or successful. Whether it is TV or magazines or the Internet, every message from the media is meant to sell an idea, attitude or product. Without even knowing it, we can be influenced by these messages. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:
“We must also face the fact that certain attitudes deriving from the mentality of ‘this present world’ can penetrate our lives if we are not vigilant. For example, some would have it that only that is true which can be verified by reason and science; yet prayer is a mystery that overflows both our conscious and unconscious lives. Others overly prize production and profit; thus prayer, being unproductive, is useless. Still others exalt sensuality and comfort as the criteria of the true, the good, and the beautiful; whereas prayer, the ‘love of beauty’ (philokalia), is caught up in the glory of the living and true God” (#2727).
We must be careful when deciphering between things that come from God and things that come from the world. Many of the values of the world can be temporary and fleeting. However the truth of Jesus Christ endures forever. St. Paul challenges us:
“Do not conform yourselves to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
The goal of the media is to satisfy us, but only temporarily. There must constantly be a desire for something more. The will of God is for us to be completely satisfied in Him. There will never be a better version of God. He will never be outdated and He will never leave us. “Your word, Lord, stands forever; it is firm as the heavens. Through all generations your truth endures; fixed to stand firm like the earth” (Psalm 89-90).