Written by Sherry
Sunday, 20 April 2008 08:17
And this from Angelo Matara over at the marvelous Godspy:
He (Pope Benedict) ended by providing the answer to the problem he diagnosed decades ago, in 1968, in his book, Introduction to Christianity. The radical argument made by that book was brought to the public’s attention by Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete in his interview with Charley Rose shortly after the Pope’s election.
According to Albacete, then Josef Ratzinger saw that: “the number one problem with Christianity today is that the Christian life is no longer convincing. It doesn’t convince anyone. So his program is the formation of he says creative minorities, throughout the world, that will offer not words but the witness of a life full of humanity, of peace, of joy, so that people from what is a cruel world will find a home in these communities.”
Reading the Pope’s speech to the bishops, what’s evident is that the Pope is proposing the method of the “creative minorities” to all the faithful. While the Pope will accept a Church that is smaller and more convincing, if that is God’s will, he won’t accept it without a fight: it’s the task of the Bishops to promote the “call to holiness” to all Catholics:
“In a society that rightly values personal liberty, the Church needs to promote at every level of her teaching — in catechesis, preaching, seminary and university instruction — an apologetics aimed at affirming the truth of Christian revelation, the harmony of faith and reason, and a sound understanding of freedom, seen in positive terms as a liberation both from the limitations of sin and for an authentic and fulfilling life. In a word, the Gospel has to be preached and taught as an integral way of life, offering an attractive and true answer, intellectually and practically, to real human problems… I believe that the Church in America, at this point in her history, is faced with the challenge of recapturing the Catholic vision of reality and presenting it, in an engaging and imaginative way, to a society which markets any number of recipes for human fulfillment.
No more Christendom, big battalions assumptions. No illusions about where we stand vis a vis the culture.
But not a barricade/ghetto mentality either. Not small circles, filled with rage and fear, talking to ourselves in language only we understand about subjects that only the initiate understand and care about. Because the ghetto is not the only alternative to Christendom.
Convincing is the word. And who are we seeking to convince? Not just those already in the pews.
I'm reading a couple of really intriguing books on evangelizing post-moderns right now in preparation for our Making Disciples seminars this summer. One book spends a lot of time on the necessity of arousing curiosity about Jesus and the faith through exposure to your own life and the lives of other Christians.
Of course, the obvious, painful, question, the question that must be asked, is "What about my life would arouse curiosity about Christ in a non-believer?"
And a variant question that all of us who blog should ask: What about this blog would arouse curiosity about Christ in a non-believer? Because in a 24/7 internet world, our discussions are not private.
Our discussions - all of them - are a witness.