Spiritual evolution - part 2

Here is a follow-up discussion post in the same blog thread as the text quoted in my previous blog article here. It is in response to remarks by another contributor to the blog discussion. His comments are in quote marks:


What you say is indeed totally coherent and I very much agree (as someone in education) with your analysis of both modern day teaching and society in general in terms of a desire to efface the past/traditions and that this has led to people becoming more and more rootless. I think people today have a thirst to know where they have come from, as well as where they are going (just think about the fascination today with genealogy, retracing one's family roots). This responds to some kind of inner need in us.

Statue of St. James the Major, Santiago De Compostella Basilica.

Fortunately, in our school (a Catholic state boys' comprehensive/for US readers, a govt.-funded Catholic High School) we still teach both Latin + Greek up to A-Level (end of High School) - a throwback to pre-1980s Grammar School days. I myself was fortunate enough during my training to be able to study Hebrew for 3 years (and some Greek). To be able to find your way round the Hebrew Old Testament is a marvelous, eye-opening experience which has taught me so much about our origins as Christians.

An "enormous spiritual hunger in our society"...

...yes, most definitely. Just look at the success of the BBC series from 2005, "The Monastery", which has now been shown in at least 10 countries worldwide, is still being shown and has spawned similar shows in many of those countries. Abbot Jamison of Worth has attempted to go further in terms of helping people thirsting for God through his books "Finding Sanctuary" and "Finding Happiness".

The "blandness of modern Catholic observance"...

... in many places, yes. But from my own experience, not everywhere. Some parishes/congregations are far luckier than others in this respect. And there are I think more and more parishes (certainly round here) returning to the popular devotions of the past (that should be of the present!): Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament (for 24 hours in some cases), Rosary, Novenas... May not seem like much, but I think they are signs of a parish that is alive and kicking, especially if they have regular Exposition.

"If we were willing to make our own lives visible statements of God's promise..."

So, so important. The graces we receive through our Baptism, the Eucharist, our personal and community relationships with God are not meant to be kept for ourselves. We are called to "spread the wealth". If we don't, we are not fulfilling our calling as Christians.

"... and our Church was willing to evangelise secular society instead of "dialoguing" with it, I think that very many people could be brought to the Faith."

Yes, definitely, but we are the Church as much as the hierarchy is, and so much can be done simply through the quality of our relationships with others, and more actively through the power of our witness to Christ.

I believe passionately that each person (whether they acknowledge this or not) is called to a particular vocation in life, to a way of life that will bring each person the greatest possible happiness and fulfilment, but at the same time allow them to best use their God-given talents for the good of others. This calling is to be responded to every day anew. I am also responsible for co-ordinating vocations work in England for my order and I am more and more convinced of the importance of helping EVERY Christian understand that they are called by God.
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