Msgr. Charles Pope: What is Hedonism? More Than You Think.

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By Msgr. Charles Pope, Aug. 30, 2020

In yesterday’s Gospel Jesus set forth the need to accept the crosses of our life and carry them. As we reviewed in yesterday’s homily notes, crosses are not merely the big sufferings in life such as disease, the death  of a loved one, the loss of a job, and so forth. There are also the daily crosses of self-discipline, hard work, obedience, setbacks, consequences for our decisions, limits to what we can do, and the cross of resisting temptation.

Opposed to this teaching from the Lord is hedonism. Most people today link hedonism with sexual excess and perhaps drinking. But Hedonism is a far wider notion and it is why St. Paul said: We preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles (1 For 1:23). To the Jews, Christ crucified was a stumbling block since they believed that anyone hung from a tree was cursed by God (see Deut 21:23). But to the Greeks and Romans, the cross was an absurdity due to the widespread philosophy of hedonism among them. So what is hedonism?  …