Let me start by saying… I love to shop. It is a weakness of mine that can put a worried look on the face of my sweet fiance if I am not careful. So a few days ago when I heard that one of my favorite places to shop was departing from my values my first instinct was to look the other way… Yup, you guessed it. I am talking about Target…
As I scrolled though different news feeds, my first thought was: ” I REALLY don’t want to know”. Perhaps I was thinking that if I never actually read/heard about it I would be excused if I continued to support them. Ignorance is bliss… It took me until noon before I could bring myself to read the rundown on it by one of my co-workers. First it was Starbucks, and now this… Don’t get me wrong I knew Target was never a vocal supporter of natural marriage, but is it wrong to just wish these retailers would stay neutral and stay out of the culture wars?
So what is a Christian to do? If you are like me your first reaction is denial, then the harder your conscience works the more convicted you become. Should we boycott these companies? Yikes that can be hard!!! I will never forget as a youngster when my family decided to boycott the companies that supported Planned Parenthood. Learning to go without some of our favorite products was tough. Spending the time and effort to contact these companies was even worse. We learned a lot through this endeavor:
1. You can never win supporters by shoving it down their throat. If you can gently guide friends to join your effort, then go for it, if not don’t think you are acomplishing anything with your Pharisaical attitude.
2. You will be surprised by what you can live without. When the companies reversed their decisions it was surprising how much we liked the generic brands now that we were accustomed to them.
3. It is GOOD for you! It can be like Lent with no end in sight. We are called to be “in the world but not of it”, and this is a perfect way to remind yourself that heaven is our ultimate goal.
Life is full of sacrifices. I was blessed enough to be able to attend WYD in Madrid last August. My one desire was to get to actually see Pope Benedict in person.We waited near the road for nearly 6 hours just to get a glimps of him. It was blistering hot, but completely worth it. Here is the lovely words Pope Benedict left us with that day:
“To suffer with the other and for others; to suffer for the sake of truth and justice; to suffer out of love and in order to become a person who truly loves — these are fundamental elements of humanity, and to abandon them would destroy man himself”. Let us eagerly welcome these teachings and put them into practice. Let us look upon Christ, hanging on the harsh wood of the Cross, and let us ask him to teach us this mysterious wisdom of the Cross, by which man lives. The Cross was not a sign of failure, but an expression of self-giving in love that extends even to the supreme sacrifice of one’s life. The Father wanted to show his love for us through the embrace of his crucified Son: crucified out of love. The Cross, by its shape and its meaning, represents this love of both the Father and the Son for men. Here we recognize the icon of supreme love, which teaches us to love what God loves and in the way that he loves: this is the Good News that gives hope to the world.”
So we are called to ” suffer for the safe of truth”. To stand up for what we believe in. When you look at it like that, skipping a shopping trip to Target suddenly seems small.
[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://www.ignitumtoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Rachel-Howell-e1315240168290.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Rachel Howell works for EWTN as the Customer Service Representative for the National Catholic Register. She loves her job, as she gets paid to talk on the phone and interact with people – her favorite pastime! A country girl who claims both Alabama and Idaho as her hometowns, she grew up in a large Catholic family that made her who she is today. She is passionate about her Catholic Faith, Pro-life work, and Cowgirl boots. She also blogs about her adventures in life at the National Catholic Register.[/author_info] [/author]