The Deception of Youth

Fr. Joseph Noonan O.F.M.

If you were to ask most people about the behavior of today's youth, they would consider it completely normal. In fact, if it were any other way, many would think that something was wrong. It's become such an expected part of "growing up" that you just don't seem to fit in if it doesn't happen to you.

What am I referring to?

It is the exaggerated and bizarre behaviour of youth (teens and young adults) that have been duped because of the materialist push of the world along with the increasing diabolical influence in today's society.

No one doubts the many changes that take place during these years. These changes include everything from the mental and physical states, to the spiritual. The years from childhood to adulthood are assuredly difficult.

But just how difficult ought they be? This is admittedly not an easy question to answer. There are factors, though, that play a determining role in each situation. The attitude and understanding of the parents, along with the economic status of the family usually prove to be decisive.

The greatest of the factors, though, should be spiritual.

It is the responsibility of the parents to do their utmost to see that their children are given a proper Catholic education. If the parents are not responsible or lack sufficient knowledge in matters of the Faith, then their children suffer to a greater degree. This is precisely where erroneous ideas and as a result, misdirection occurs. Either one of these may, and many times cause the child to be deceived.

This deception differs from person to person, but the method is almost always the same. The reason behind this is rather easy to understand. Human nature hasn't changed since the Fall. This means that people everywhere think and act in basically the same way. The devils know this all too well. This is why their methods of deception have always been the same.

Perhaps the most well-known of these methods is the lie. Keep in mind that Satan is the Father of lies. He'll use it whenever he needs to, which is realistically all the time.

Most youth prove to be puppets on a string for the devils. With the desire for independence and freedom, combined with a developing idealism, along with little experience and knowledge of the spiritual traps that lie everywhere, adolescents fall in some truly frightening ways.

Today's decadent society (a combination of the world and devilish influence) unfortunately provides numberless occasions whereby the young are fooled. Whether one considers the exaggerated and fraudulent "peer pressure" that nearly all encounter, or the silly "goals"that so many are somehow attracted to, the deception is present. It clouds the mind in such a way that few individuals are able to think clearly. The result is that a youth's future is altered in such a way that it may take many years, even a lifetime, to see and understand the mistakes that were made.

A few examples may be of some help to understand this further.

The alcohol and drug problems of teenagers have been well-documented for many years. But why do such problems occur at a young age? Generally, you will find that peer pressure has much to do with it. A scenario of getting "high" or "stoned"is presented in glowing terms to the individual. The youth, not wanting to be different (in other words, they want to be thought of as "cool"), falls for the bait. Within a short while, the youth develops an "unexpected" addiction.

Note the deception (lie) that takes place. Getting high or stoned is apparently a good thing in the mind of the unwary adolescent. Any responsible or clear-minded person knows that this is NOT the case.

A second example are those that wish to become rich and famous. For the sake of understanding the deception, this example will come under the heading of a "goal." In other words, there are those that work toward being "rich and famous" with no regard for their souls. It's only the "goal" that counts. There is little or no regard for any of the Divine Precepts. Impurities of all kinds and blasphemy are among the worst offenses, but this type of person may do whatever is "necessary" in order to reach this all-important "goal."

In a society where apathy and indifferentism rule, is it surprising that so few will work toward an objective only by an honest means. Once again, the deception in this example ought to be obvious.

Not to belabor the point, or bore the reader, I'd like to give a third case. This example is more common, one that occurs more often among youth.

It is the unacceptable behaviour that results from the contemporary and popular music of the past four decades. To clarify this further, it is the rock n' roll music of many shades and colors. Some teens may argue that they don't listen to rock n' roll, because there are in fact many different types of music to which they listen Let me put it another way. If the music that is listened to encourages drugs, alcohol, impurity, or rebellion, chances are that it had its origin in rock n' roll.

For years, the deviant behaviour of adolescents has baffled the unwary parent. Because of a lack of understanding (or in some cases, compromise), of what is generally behind rock n' roll music, they allow their children to listen to it. The result is that in most cases the behaviour of the child changes for the worse. Not only has documentation shown this, but also the experience of parents.

The typical rock concert is a good example of the effects of this music. If we first keep in mind that music or concerts in themselves are not wrong, but the lyrics and rhythm of certain types of music, then we will better understand this writer's objective. How many times have we seen segments on television or read articles of the drugs and alcohol that are used during the course of a concert, the numerous impurities that are committed and encouraged, the violent acts of vandalism, etc. and a general rebellious attitude? Keep in mind that any one of these is sufficient evidence, any combination of them is proof positive. Are we to be so naive as to think that the behaviour of those attending is to be separated from the music itself. Any doubting Thomases need only to read the lyrics of these types of songs and understand their messages in order to confirm this statement.

In addition to this, one needs to consider the mesmerizing rhythm of this "so-called music." It seems to cast a spell over those who listen to it regularly. For those that don't care for it at all, it may give them a headache! One may reasonably consider the connection between the rhythm and the purposeful effects upon the different parts of the mind. It clearly appeals to the lower passions of man. Don't be fooled, the writers of this type of music understand all too well these last two points. What an insidious lie presented to the unwary!

If one were to compare a rock n' roll concert with a classical music concert the differences are monumental, to say the least. Has anyone ever heard of classical music being the cause of such behaviour as I have described above? To be sure, there probably isn't a perfect type of secular music around, but some are clearly better than others, while others clearly need to be avoided all together.

In a world where fallen nature has unfortunately played a major role, a utopian world is out of the question. I would like to present a few suggestions that I believe will be of some help: 1.) instruct your child in the very reason for their existence (it's NOT to eat, drink, and be merry; i.e., circus and peanuts), and to Whom we owe it (God, not man); 2.) instruct them well in all matters of the Catholic Faith (with an emphasis on the battle between Good and Evil in this world); 3.) present to them a realistic view of the world, and how they ought to look at it (Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, getting stoned or high will not make our life any better); 4.) have them pick their friends carefully (it really does make a difference) and how to deal with peer pressure.

Please remember that once deception has occurred, a blindness has come about. The only way to remove the blindness is to eliminate the deception. The deception of which I have written in this article may happen to anyone, not just the young. It is, though, predominately in youth where such things have their origin.

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