Tuesday, 3 August 2021

What is important?

Humblepiety has expressed the sadness of a parish priest where the families of first communion and confirmation children do not sustain any practice of their faith: The Diocesan Plan/Vision Reflecting upon the process as a Parish Priest.

What disheartens my priestly ministry at this point of time is the difficulty of bringing the gospel to two, perhaps even three generations of lapsed Catholics.

I also thought this was a sensible post, at iBenedictines, so I link to it: Is the Church Getting It Right — or Getting It Wrong? 

The question troubling me is, do the current public preoccupations of the Church really help to spread the gospel? Are they, in any meaningful sense, meeting the desire for God? Or does the Church have some other reason for being than leading all to salvation in Christ?

Reading Humblepiety's post, and the dialogue in the comments on this second post, prompts me to add two thoughts of my own. 

The workings of grace can be unseen, and such workings are often present at the ordinary, grass roots of Church life in way that all to easily goes unnoticed. In a final analysis, those workings do not admit of a quantifiable measure. I recall some years ago encountering a thought with regard to first communion for people with learning disabilities - and that thought suggested that, since such an individual was not able to consent to sin, a first reception of communion would suffice for fulfilled life of grace. The most vivid life of the Church is there, and it continues despite everything that appears to the contrary.

And there is a mirror to this first thought. Each of us is called to cultivate that part of the Lord's vineyard where we have been placed; and that does not ask us to take a stance on each and every issue that faces the wider Church, or, indeed, to solve every problem that might impinge on our own corner of the vineyard. We are called to persevere in our own task, and perhaps to disregard that which is not pertinent to it, whatever others might broadcast as being important.

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