The Desire to Fit In
Let no one tell you that being in high school is easy. There seems to be so much riding on your exams, your grades, your after-school activities, that it produces a lot of stress on its own. There is also the enormous pressure to look, talk, and act a certain way. Some people feel these pressures differently than others, but they are still there. Fitting in, not standing out- for a lot of teens in school, this is priority number one. And it doesn’t go away once you get into college. It is perfectly natural for most people to not want to stand out in the crowd.
Being Catholic does not always make it easy to fit in. There’s Ash Wednesday, when people tell you that you have a smudge on your forehead all day. It makes you stand out. Then you have to explain why you have ashes on your head. The purpose of the Catholic Church is to call everyone into a real relationship with Jesus Christ, and with that relationship comes ways of living and thinking that are increasingly unpopular, and even hated. But the goal of the Church is not to appeal to the majority, but to be faithful to Jesus.