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I was just thinking about my youth and what it was like to be Catholic back then. What a difference between now and than. I am not that old, in my yearly 40’s, but still the Church has gone through a lot of changes in the past 40 years.
The Church being what She is, the visible presence of God on earth, she often times moves very slow. People complain that they Church should “keep up” with the times. Think about that statement. Just in my short life this would have:
1970’s: A generation that was between two realities, that of hard times and of lost innocence. We would of had a very racially divided and driven Church and our priesthood would contain woman. The drug and free love of the 60’s would have been common place and we would be looking to “find ourselves” in an age of “pop” psychology.
1980’s: Sacred music would have went the way of New Wave or Punk rock and the youth of the Church would have been a lost and forgotten community. The Baby boomers from the free love generation are not the “I want” “Self-serving” generation of Yuppies that believe that “He who dies with the most toys wins” are becoming our priest. And the Church would have lost her identity and sacred art for flashy and stark decor.
1990’s: The gen Xer of the 80’s are now becoming of age and taking places of leadership with in the community, but are disillusioned with the self servingness of the yuppies of the 80’s and are looking for a purpose. If the Church were to follow the lead of the Xer’s Sacred Mass would be 60 second sound bites thanks to the MTV generations. Our sermons would be pseudo political non committal and appeasing to all. The Church would jump from one service project to the next, never allowing Herself to become attached.
2000’s: If the Church were to change with the times by the year 2000 we would be a mess. We would have several factions fighting for control of Her and She would not be allowed to defend herself. The Yuppies would be in total control and the running of the Church. The Hippies of the 60’s would now be the controlling factor, working for the :Institutions” they rallied against and becoming the authority they despised. They would not command respect because they never earned it and they would not give respect because they do not demand it. They Xer’s would bring a sense of loss to the Church and She would respond in-kind. She would offer nothing to them and require the world from them. Yet She would hold hope that they will accept the empty promise of “All are welcome”. Yet the “Y” generation is still bringing its confusion to the table of the Church and She would accept that as a desire to change and challenge the status quo.
Man what a mess the Church would be is She allowed that to happen, thank God it has not… Wait, That is the Church of today in the United States, it did happen, She did change with the times…. Man what is going on here?
The sad truth is that the radicands of the 60’s did infiltrate the Holiness of the Church and She did bend and shift and Change to try to gather in the lost. Yet in doing so She has become lost herself. She allowed small changes to become accepting, to fulfill the “spirit” of Vatican II or of the generation She was serving. The end resold of the great experiment, we have a Church who is loosing Her identity, we have a Church who can not respect Her own supremacy and who has no modesty onto Herself. Yet She freely accepts this in the name of acceptance. Two Thousand years of Tradition are lost upon a few generations of walking in the desert.
But all is not lost, there is a home, the Gen Xer and Gen Y babies are becoming of age, they are assume rolls of responsibilities and, praise be to God, have learned a lesson or two from the mistakes of the generations that passed. Each and every generation has a alpha and omega side to it, its beginning and its end, the 60’s produced productive and unproductive results as did all generations. But, as in all generations, the fabric of this nation of our Church was changes, altered is someway that allowed us as a nation and Church to take the road more traveled. This resulted in the great experiment know as the “Modern Church”.
To me, how can the Church be modern or old fashion? If Christ is the same then, now and always, should not his Church be? Do we really want a “Church2.0” or “Church of today"? I don’t think so, I think what we want, and what we need is The Church, the one and true Church established here on earth as the visible sign of God among us.
the generation now entering the seminaries are seeking the truth of the Church, not the truth of today, we are seeing parish life take on a new roll and responsibility towards it community at large (well in parishes with newer Priest who were not ordained during the “great experiment”). We are seeing a resurgence of Catholic radio and TV and even the mainstream is picking up on this with big budget movies with biblical and moral themes being produced.
All is not bleak, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is becoming more and more visible as each day passes. Let us pray that we have learned our lessons, but humanity being what she is, I would venture to bet that we have more “great experiments” to come. God willing we will survive them as well.
I am not asking that the Church return to it’s pre-Vatican II ways, not at all, although I see nothing wrong with it for people who gain something from it, but what I am asking is that we do not allow the pop culture to override the Traditions and sacredness of the Catholic Church.
AS a side note: Most of the priest involved the scandals were children of the “Free Love” generation… Hmmm think there may be a connection?
|Theological Highlights of Vatican II|
|Romans 3:23-24“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
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