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When I decided to accept the challenge given me by a priest to read the Documents of Vatican II in the first six months of this, The Year of Faith, truthfully, I held my nose anticipating the most boring six months of reading in my life.
To my surprise it’s been anything but that.
What I’ve discovered is that both the ‘spirit of Vatican II’ cliches I’ve heard ad nauseum– even from the pulpit– as well as comments from the cynics who would prefer to ax the whole event from church history, are actually quite far from the vivid balanced truths expressed in these documents. Father told me I would be surprised. I find it’s much like hearing everyone else’s interpretation of a movie or book I haven’t seen or read myself, and being quite surprised that when I finally do, it’s not at all what they made it out to be.
Certainly better minds than mine have unpacked the teachings here; but that’s true enough for the Bible as well, which is why we read and study in concert with the magisterium, not those who perhaps use the church to advance their own agenda.
We live in a time where there is so much confusion– even in the church. People have no idea what’s true anymore or what the church really teaches, because they expect their catechesis delivered to them in a homily once a week. Many, having lost their hunger for God, speed through life hoping, when they suddenly need resolution to a problem, or life crisis, they can pick up some spiritual food (answer) as fast as they can call out for pizza.
And as you know, it just doesn’t work that way.
I’m responsible to ~
“continue to work out my salvation
with fear and trembling”.
My heart hurts for the many lost people I encounter daily and I pray they will seek to renew their faith this year.
If only they understood the beauty of the church’s single intention, they would run home:
While helping the world and receiving many benefits from it, the Church has a single intention:
that God’s kingdom may come, and that the salvation of the whole human race may come to pass. For every benefit which the People of God during its earthly pilgrimage can offer to the human family stems from the fact that the Church is “the universal sacrament of salvation”, simultaneously manifesting and exercising the mystery of God’s love.
For God’s Word, by whom all things were made, was Himself made flesh so that as perfect man He might save all men and sum up all things in Himself. The Lord is the goal of human history, the focal point of the longings of history and of civilization, the center of the human race, the joy of every heart and the answer to all its yearnings. He it is Whom the Father raised from the dead, lifted on high and stationed at His right hand, making Him judge of the living and the dead. Enlivened and united in His Spirit, we journey toward the consummation of human history, one which fully accords with the counsel of God’s love:
“To reestablish all things in Christ, both those in the heavens and those on the earth”
The Lord Himself speaks: “Behold I come quickly! And my reward is with me, to render to each one according to his works. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end —(Rev. 22:12-13).