Shaking Things Up
I’ve been mulling over some concerns in this most interesting time of Holy Mother Church and yesterday I sought direction from one of my Benedictine mentors. Here’s what I wrote him:
Since the election of Pope Francis I’m trying to stabilize myself amid the various voices in the church interpreting the direction of the Holy Father…
It’s just an uncomfortable time, because I found Pope Benedict to be so clear and concise in his writings — (Pope John Paul II as well.)
Today my pastor (a Jesuit himself ) gave an interesting sermon which finally enabled me to formulate the question churning in my mind and heart.
Using Pope Damasus I and his constant political and religious struggles as his background, he said it’s important to interpret the times we’re in by looking back to the main movements in the history of the church.
- the movement from a Jewish to Gentile community
- from illegal Christianity to legal in the 4th century
- the church under the control of emperors who placed the crown on the pope
- 800 AD: through political maneuvering the popes obtain power; land, money military. This was the most morally corrupt time in the church
- the era when all that power was lost, Martin Luther, the schism
- the modern era Vatican II Pope John XXIII -to today, the post modern era
Now, here’s where my ears perked up and I understood my confusion– if that makes sense.
He said, we live in a time as turbulent as the movements that went before us. Today, so few live the gospel or even know or care who God is…
We are now a global community because of the new media. In this post modern era, he continued,” everything must be changed to fit this post modern world, to update and change the structures of the church, to connect and become relevant to the people of today.” In three years, he said, ” you will not recognize the Curia at the Vatican because this pope is not afraid to shake things up.”
I left Mass wondering how St Benedict, who we know lived in turbulent times, would respond to a call to relevancy and change of structures in order to draw the lost and pagan world to Jesus. My precious father in the faith seemed anything but relevant (nor the martyrs.)
How would St Benedict instruct me to “shake things up?”
In the spirit of St Benedict, what is to be my response to this call to relevancy?
In the peace of Christ and St Benedict,
I thought you might appreciate his simple yet direct response:
“…all are called to become more “relevant” in our relationship to Almighty God.”
Concentrate on that.“
And that will shake things up plenty.
- St Benedict Presents the Rule via ~Wikipedia