Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Synod Challenge-Secularization, Turning from God

Pride is a deadly sin. Many people living in the modern world think they don't need God, they can get along without God, prayer or formal worship. Some believe in God but don't feel the need to express it outwardly or communally.  They're doing just fine with their iPhones, iPads, laptops, lattes, kindles and internet shopping. There are a lot of interesting, functional gadgets to keep people occupied and engaged.  No time for God or worship. I live close to an Apple Store. The day the iPhone 5 went on sale there was a line around the corner of the store. This is a different world from the world I grew up in. Modern technology has changed the world forever. It will never be the same. The Church in the modern world will have to adjust accordingly. Our prayers, liturgies and beliefs are ancient and sacred but somehow they will have to have appeal in the modern world. I hope and pray people realize the importance of prayer, belief in God and worship and the benefits of it, but sometimes I worry that the world has spun out of control. There are consequences to pride, real consequences and they are not from the imagination.
I can't live without prayer or God but that's me. Faith in God has enriched my life as I've written many times. I could not have gone through the problems and losses I've encountered in my life without God and the support of a Catholic faith community.
During a recent major address given during the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization in Rome, Cardinal Wuerl spoke to 262 top Church leaders about the seriousness of the situation that confronts the Church.
"Poor catechesis and a 'tsunami of secular influence' have led to a situation in which the need for the new evangelization of once-Christian societies is urgent.........Secularization has fashioned two generations of Catholics who do not know the Church's foundational prayers. Many do not sense a value in Mass attendance, fail to receive the sacrament of Penance and have often lost a sense of mystery or the transcendent as having any real and verifiable meaning. All of the above resulted in a large segment of the faithful being ill-prepared to deal with a culture that, as our Holy Father has pointed out on his many visits around the world, is characterized by secularism, materialism and individualism." This is all true, of course, but what's scary to me is that many young adults, who are missing in great numbers in the pews, really don't care. What they care about are their iPhones, cell phones,  laptops,  iPads and their lattes. They know how to place an order in Starbucks, place a bid on ebay,  keep up with their Facebook page and text.
The problems are complex and multi-faceted but not too complex for the Holy Spirit.
Veni, Sanctus, Spiritus. Prayer, wisdom, innovation, authenticity, community, fellowship and social justice work can help the Church renew itself in the modern world.