I love podcast. I love producing them, listening to them, and hosting them. My love for the media has recently put me the strange position of being caught up on all of my Catholic podcast listening queue. So I’ve been venturing out into the deep and listening to other shows that people have recommended or that I’ve heard about. One of my new favorite shows is the Nerdist podcast by stand up comedian and former host of MTV’s “Singled Out” Chris Hardwick. The typical Nerdist podcast has Chris and his sometimes co-host interviewing other comedian and celebrities about the business and their lives. In the process of listening to a few shows I came to find out the Chris Hardwick was raised Catholic and even attended Catholic school for a few years.
Like so many others of our generation Chris is no longer a practicing Catholic or follower of any particular religion. What struck me recently was a discussion he had about why comedians become comedians. He stated that it was because most comedians come from an upbringing where they are told that they are “pieces of crap” and that they are striving to gain that approval they never got. In this discussion as well as in others he’s mentioned his “catholic” upbringing and catholic school education as primary instigators of this negative affirmation. Whatever experiences of the faith that have brought Chris to this decision are irrelevant. What is relevant is the truth about the Catholic faith and God in particular. The truth is that God is love and God so loved the world that he send his only son to die for us so that we may live with him forever in paradise. The faith that I know would never tell someone that they are worthless or unloved.
In the past few years I have had the opportunity to meet, interact with and listen to a number of wonderful priest and lay people who I feel represent the future of the Church. The kind of people who have taught me about my faith and the love of God. Lessons that I’ve only learned in the past five or six years, that I wish I had learned or experienced in the previous thirty. I truly believe that if these men and women had been in Mr. Hardwick’s life back then he wouldn’t be the fallen away Catholic he is today. This is the challenge for all of us. To live the faith everyday and to be the light of Christ for everyone we meet. Because you never know who you might be affecting and you might be the only positive influence of the faith in that person’s life.
With that I extend an open invitation to you Chris to come back and experience the real truths of the Church and the real love of God.