http://sparksandstubble.blogspot.com/20 ... f-age.html
Its long, but well worth it in my view. Here is an excerpt:
Some recent thoughts I've been having about the Church: about where we find ourselves and where I find myself as a young Catholic.
I am a JPII priest. Seeing Blessed Pope John Paul at World Youth Day in 2003 swept away the final reservations I had about entering the seminary. “Do not be afraid,” he told us, “to set out into the deep for a catch.”
By then we knew, I knew, that entering the seminary meant setting out into the deep. New revelations in the priest abuse scandals were breaking daily. Every year it seemed that another priest left ministry with a lover, male or female. The Church had been declining in youth and vigor in Maine for decades. It was not hard to conclude that my ministry as a priest would be carried out during dark and difficult years for the Church in the West.
The seas had not always seemed so ominous. I grew up in the Bernadine years. The years of consensus leadership, of being welcoming and tolerant. Dialogue was the way to address any disagreement, any difficulty.
I don’t recall hearing anything about principles, about virtue, about sacrifice, about the truth. It seems that a whole generation, the generation before me, had been turned off by such things. They distained talk of objective right and wrong. Of good and evil. Of virtue and sin. And they pointed out continually that such dichotomies were either the mark of simplistic and naïve thinking, or the propaganda of those who seek to control others.
We were basically taught that the heart of the Gospel was to love others, and that that meant we should always compromise conviction in favor of the person. The only virtue I recall being drilled into my head was that we seek to be on good terms with everyone, regardless of their point of view. To be likable. It was the underlying subtext in most moral narratives: the protagonist gives up his or her convictions or preconceived notions in order to love the antagonist.
I think 9/11 was the first sign that the Bernadine years were over. People kept asking “Why do they hate us?” We looked at ourselves, we all seemed likable enough to one another – so we were completely thrown by the idea that someone could possibly not want to get along. Didn’t they know the golden rule? What kind of rock were they living under?
Peace of Christ,