Wednesday, 25 April 2012

#YOLO: A Christian Outlook?

Having heard students use the phrase #YOLO, I noticed a Catholic blog writing about the phrase. It raised the questions:
  • What kinds of things would this life philosophy encourage?
  • What kinds of choices are made by those who really do plan on living only once?
Does it mean we should live in a wasteful, reckless way? If we live as if everyday could be our last, that would determine a lot of our lifestyle choices. Indeed, why bother turning up for school this morning?

The author of the blog post suggests that actually, for those who have no belief in the Resurrection, no Christian faith, life becomes restless and individuals try to find meaning in meaningless things. He says:

"A man who doesn’t believe that he has anything to look forward to or that he’ll ever have to pay his debts – either because he doesn’t believe in an afterlife or because he isn’t mindful of it – is a fool at best and a danger to himself and others at worst."

He then goes on to quote St Augustine who before becoming a committed Christian lived a 'wasteful' life, gives a contrast of the YOLO philosophy to the life of a Christian:

"Belatedly I loved thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new, belatedly I loved thee. For see, thou wast within and I was without, and I sought thee out there. Unlovely, I rushed heedlessly among the lovely things thou hast made. Thou wast with me, but I was not with thee. These things kept me far from thee; even though they were not at all unless they were in thee. Thou didst call and cry aloud, and didst force open my deafness. Thou didst gleam and shine, and didst chase away my blindness. Thou didst breathe fragrant odors and I drew in my breath; and now I pant for thee. I tasted, and now I hunger and thirst. Thou didst touch me, and I burned for thy peace." – St. Augustine, Confessions, Book 10, Chapter 27

The blogger does conclude, that despite his seeming rejection of the YOLO philosophy, there can be a Christian version. One that links to the ideas of St Francis, who encouraged total commitment to God: ”Hold back nothing of yourselves for yourselves so that He Who gives Himself totally to you may receive you totally.”

This, it is suggested, that maybe Christians need to just 'add' a bit to YOLO.

Have a visit to his site - - and you can vote in the poll...

What do you think? Can we live life as #YOLO if we are Christian? Do you use YOLO and mean it? How does it effect your life?

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