Lent is the Church’s annual retreat

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

As I write this column on Valentine’s Day, there is a media frenzy swirling over the “next big thing” in pop culture, the opening of the film “Fifty Shades of Grey.” The film, based on a trilogy of books by the same title, graphically depicts how far our mainstream cultural tastes have descended the slippery slope of self-indulgent fantasy and depravity. It is a story that glamorizes sexual violence. Its premise condones a blatant disrespect for the dignity of women and scorn for the beauty of God’s plan for spousal love and intimacy within marriage. It’s about sado-masochism. And it’s wildly popular. While this may be a cultural barometer pointing to something terribly disordered in our society, and in our souls, there is another popular gathering this month that will garner very little media attention, but is a sign of hope.

As this edition of the Sooner Catholic is published on the First Sunday of Lent, hundreds of our neighbors from across the archdiocese will gather at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help for the Rite of Election.

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