Do not reduce my Church to a bunch of clichés that can be grasped thus. We are prone to jumping on the bandwagon of novel expressions. But, neither the Church nor the world is in danger of being liquefied. Truisms that stood as rocks of stability and security for the past millennium now show their fragility in the face of cultural and scientific advancements. We cannot shut the world out in a weekly retreat into aging gestures and symbolism, uplifting and beautiful though they are.
We return to realities that cannot be wished away. We live in a more pragmatic environment that scrutinizes all things with a microscope. More so, we question any signs of autocratic authority. We listen respectfully to Sunday sermons, but draw our own conclusions. Sometimes we are even critical of what we hear in the light of our own experiences. Some are inclined to ask, “What does he know; he does not have the same experience as the flock he is pastor to?” Who is he to judge?”
So when one who is expected to be a pillar, in turn asks, “Who am I to judge?”, we are disconcerted. It shakes us to the very marrow. Being so used to the security found in papal utterances we are confused when we are given the responsibility to trust our own consciences. We are being entrusted to be guided by rules, and not governed by them. Are we mature enough to handle our spirituality, and turn down the temptation to read this as an open cheque to a laissez faire society?
We are confounded by the open flouting of our moral compass. People are misreading the word “Freedom” as license to act as they please, where they please, regardless of consequences in relationships and the social bonds that make society safe and a place of nurturing. In realizing our individualism, the temptation is to become narcissistic. And, given our material advances, we can be become over ambitious and consumeristic. Like wanton kids, we revel in the openness of thought, uninhibited behavior, and experimentation with our sexuality. The negativity in this is so obvious. In such an environment, is it folly to be wise, or, do we see new challenges to “The Way”?Being disciples is to tread the narrow path that leads to the small gate. Discernment – as the Holy Father advises