Ecclesiastes 1:2

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.

Every generation thinks it's discovered things like sex, never pausing to wonder how they got here if previous generations were so dumb as all that.  The Baby Boomers thought they discovered sex and made such a ruckus about it that their offspring, Generations X and Y, haven't been able to imagine themselves pioneers in that department but have started to think they've discovered meaninglessness and boredom instead.  Ecclesiastes is on the job to remind them and us that these too are nothing new under the sun.  It's not a bad thing to discover–as long as you don't get stuck there.  The leading lights of the Boomer generation have generally been dumb enough to think the earth can be made into heaven with enough toys from Sharper Image or a regular change of spouses or more recreational chemicals.  Generation X and Y, seeing the moral wreckage the Baby Boomers left behind them, have begun to seriously wonder if life has any point at all.  It's an excellent question–if courageously pursued.  For if courageously pursued it leads inexorably to Jesus Christ.  If not pursued, it leaves you reciting this verse through all eternity.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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