Considering a “reflection for the day”, I am directed to sync my devotions and spirituality with my chronological age. I admit there has been a lag since being an altar boy, learning catechism verbatim, habitual morning and evening prayers etc, and the emergence of “Doubting Thomas”. There has been a misfit that I was not aware of. How can a menacing devil sit on one shoulder, while a gentle angel prompts tenderly through the other ear? The juvenile symbols can no longer satisfy or be wished away as “mysteries”. One needs more fodder for a mature intellect that questions as it digests. It must implicitly comply with visible and empirical laws.
This papacy heralded the Church to be outward looking; echoing Christ’s instruction for the disciples to go out into the world preaching the kingdom of God. The ship of the Church navigates new, uncharted waters. Within a few decades a world order has changed, yielding place to new. Recognised logic and eloquence have been shaded by laws of physics and technology. In the new environment secularism morphs in new trajectories; creating and dismantling ground and structures with transient and soluble foundations. Everything’s relative; today’s reality becomes a myth tomorrow. Everyone has a right to be right; a right proven right by the right methodology ( in some cases created by the decibels of the announcement). Within this mayhem, how does a believer preach, or look outwardly?
Notable saints would advise the need to first recognise the problem. Then name it. With discernment and prayer one can proceed with the logical process of solving the problem. Despite eloquence from the pulpit, people are attracted away by the commonsense and science of modernism. While, in our churches pews go empty. I think loss of God is the main problem – no matter how we dress it. Secularism is the organic growth from an amalgam of scientific enlightenment and cultural diversities. On the one hand we seek empirically based answers, on the other we are confronted by new cultures pushing for validity, confusing traditional thinking born of faith, hope and charity. The problem becomes one of identity – the image we want others to see us by. The disciples must decide how to assert themselves while accepting the complexities of the macrocosm. To successfully accomplish the given mission one needs “to read the signs effectively”. This is possible when one matures in understanding with wisdom. One does not need to quibble for words; the words will be given at the appointed time.