Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Borderline Catholics: We need a re-evangelization from within

I've been giving some thought to our crisis of faith. Readers of our blog will be aware of postings on education and culture. OECTA and other dissident groups are only symptoms. The cause is much deeper, and perhaps much more disturbing. How is it that"Catholic" countries such as the Republic of Ireland and the Province of Quebec could implode so quickly - and within one generation?

The other evening I was reading an article that included the Second Vatican Council as part of the problem (along with implementation, post-conciliar liturgy etc.). Yet there was equivocation: there were no references to the Council documents... No doubt the Council - replete with various ideas of "change" came at an interesting time in history. My own take is that the Sexual Revolution et al. was a mere continuation of the Roaring Twenties that was abandoned due to the Depression, the War and the reconstruction following.

Nonetheless, even the 50s was a gold filling in a rotting mouth. I have a few conciliar dated books to show that amongst the laity there were new ideas, strange ideas. In hindsight one sees these ideas playing out. Catholics did not so much as become counter-cultural, but stepped into line with the march of secular culture. This is all on a macro-level. I believe that Catholics were unable to take up the challenges of the Council - especially the challenge to become evangelizers (really, also Our Blessed Lord's command).

On a micro-level one can see this strange dichotomy in all of us in varying degrees. On example is the recent legalization of Sunday shopping. I believe Fr. Barron references the fact that one aspect of law is that it reflects and molds culture. We can see this in Sunday shopping. Casting blame on Freemasons, Jews, socialists, communists, Islam -- in other words "them" is a refusal to take responsibility. Such legalization came about because the culture was in step with it happening. It makes bad economic sense to keep a store open if no one shops. Well, the truth is that Sunday shopping in its rather innocuous way is highly reflective of a post-Christian society.  The problem, as in all these problems is "us", not "them", It is "us" (the nominal and borderline Christians) who are populating the Malls on a Sunday. I have even seen people leave church after attending the Tridentine Mass and go straight into into the grocery store to come out with bags bulging. Something is profoundly wrong when one can indulge in incense, bells, lace and catharsis and yet be blind to sin. Now, I admit that I too am a sinner. This post is not about casting stones. It is about us admitting that the problem is with "Christians" and not with "them". Borderline or "pick and choose the sins I'll avoid" Christianity does not work. It has never worked.
Cardinal Wuerl - Lecture on the "New Evangelization"
So back to Ireland and Quebec. Back to OECTA and the CNWE. The exterior was all lovely. But inside society was rotting. Inside, the Faith has been lost. What is needed is a profound re-evangelization from within. We have to all confess our sins, our weaknesses and set out on a daily basis to re-evangelize the world through the first step of seeking our own re-evangelization. Cardinal Wuerl gave an excellent lecture on re-evangelization which I highly recommend- see link HERE.

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