'I was intrigued, when visiting a Neocatechumenal
community in Yigo, a young girl said to me,
'I prefer not to be known as a Christian
at class because being a Christian means
being different and I do not want to be different.
I can't bear being singled out!"
At that moment, I realized how true it is
that today to be a Christian is to be different.
Virginity is laughed at. Very few enter into
sacramental marriage and prefer to shack
up for years. Having many children is ridiculed.
Avoiding paying taxes is a sport. Fun is
sin and church is boring.
What has happened? There is an eastern tale
which can help us understand. It is taken
from The Cyber Desert 1997 by Marina M. Robb,
"Once upon a time there was a Sultan
who was good and just. This Sultan had a
Vizier (Chief adviser) who was also good
and just. The Vizier also happened to be
an astrologer. One day the Vizier said to
the Sultan he had seen a sign in the heavens
which said that it was going to rain "crazy"
water, and whosoever drinks from that water
will become crazy.
All the people in the land will drink from
that water and they will lose their reasoning,
they will no longer have a good sense of
anything, they will not be able to tell right
from wrong, nor truth from falsehood, or
sweet from sour, not even justice from injustice.
When the Sultan heard this, he turned to
the Vizier and said, "Since everybody
will lose their minds we must take care not
to lose ours, for otherwise how will we make
just judgments?" The Vizier told him
that he was quite right and that he should
order that the good water they now drank
was collected and kept in special reservoirs,
so that they wouldn't drink from the ruined
water and make crazy and unjust judgments,
but rather just ones, as they were obliged
to. That is what happened.
A little while later it really did rain,
and the rain that came down really was crazy
water, and the people really did become crazy.
The poor things no longer had any idea of
what was happening to them. They thought
that falsehood was truth, good was bad, and
injustice was justice.
However, the Sultan and his Vizier drank
from the good water which they had stored
away and so did not lose their reasoning,
but rather judged everybody with justice
and righteousness. However everybody took
this the wrong way, and they were not pleased
with the Sultan's and the Vizier's judgments.
They shouted that they had been wronged,
they nearly caused a revolution.
Some time later, when they had seen more
than enough, the Sultan and the Vizier lost
their courage, and the Sultan said to the
Vizier, "Those poor fellows really have
lost their minds, and they see everything
the wrong way around. If we carry on like
this they will kill us because we want to
judge them correctly with justice. Therefore
my dear Vizier, let's throw away the good
water and let us also drink the crazy water.
We will become like them and then they'll
understand us and they'll love us again."
That is what happened. They also drank from
the crazy water, they lost their minds and
started to make crazy and unjust judgments,
and all the people were happy and congratulated
the Sultan for his wisdom."
This story sounds very real because it is
a true story. It is what is happening now.
Even a quick look at the media is enough
to convince you that may call bad good and
The only way out is not to throw the small
amount of water that we still have in the
reservoir of faith. This is why I admire
the Pope. He keeps believing in the moral
standards of Christianity even when everyone
seems to have gone skewed. He keeps insisting
to continue drinking from this good water,
and tells us to call others to drink from
it. Drinking this healthy water will refresh
us, us and them!
The Epistle to Diognetus is a well-crafted
letter extolling the virtues of Christianity
over paganism. It belongs to the very early
Christian literature. Look how Diognetus
"For the Christians are distinguished
from other men neither by country, nor language,
nor the customs which they observe... … They
dwell in their own countries, but live as
foreigners. As citizens, they share in all
things with others, and yet endure all things
as if aliens. Every foreign land is to them
as their native country, and every land of
their birth as a land of strangers.
They marry, as do all others; they have children,
but they do not destroy their offspring.
They have a common table, but not a common
bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not
live after the flesh. They pass their days
on earth, but they are citizens of heaven.
They obey the prescribed laws, and at the
same time surpass the laws by their lives.
They love all men, and are persecuted by
Yes, let us become Christians!
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
hereby granted for any non-commercial
provided that the content is unaltered
its original state, if this copyright