What Pope Francis says as being central to our faith, we often hear at the closing of every Mass… “Go and make disciples.” This is the mission of evangelization that, as baptized Christians, we are all called to participate in. However, I wonder how many people are saying, "Those are awesome inspiring words but they don’t really mean much to me practically speaking in my daily life". Or, ask themselves, "Okay what do we do… what's my role?" Is it ever explained to the congregation?
It’s hard to imagine what the world must have looked like in a pro Christian world vs the very anti-Christian modern world we live in. A time when society revolved around the Church seems like a fictional movie to me, especially as I try to picture what it would have been like, in centuries past, without the Godless radical left and their hatred of Biblical morality. Growing up in a theocracy viewing the church and state being in synergy is hard to imagine given today’s freedom of expression society.
Has intellect been stripped away from Christianity, specifically Catholicism resulting in a remnant seeking only personal encounters or remaining only out of obligation? Is having an experience seen as a prevalent factor for Parish renewal? I would suggest that of the few churches demonstrating any interest in Parish renewal this is believed to be true. The proof is, that for many, even the suggestion of reason to nurture one’s faith is an insult to their trust in their Holy Spirit experience. I do not want to belittle that because I had one myself. However in my opinion such an experience, by itself, is a factor in the Church’s decline, because experience is subjective. Your truth doesn’t mean it's true for me and vice versa. Just because you believe chocolate ice cream or Toyotas are the best doesn't mean they are objective truth. I think St. Jerome in the 4th century sums it up best about the fullness of the Gospel and being selective not to portray a false Jesus, he said, “ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ.” The almost total elimination of intellectual engagement in church teaching is simply another breach in its fire wall.
Who decides what music is “epic” enough to be used for the Mass entrance, during communion and the closing recessional? Is epic music subjective to someone's age, culture and taste, like wine or beer? For example, some wine drinkers, view beer as being laughable as an inspiring tribute. However, for many craft beer enthusiasts, their carefully balanced brew is a glimpse of heaven and that some wine drinkers are pretentious phonies.
Can you be rational and believe the stories of the bible? How is believing that the sun will rise and fall everyday or that the trees will lose their leaves and flowers and die, but magically be reborn in the spring? Can a creator who designs a universe as complex as ours and a little blue planet called Earth with numerous factors that have to work in synergy to create life, be any more believable than someone rising from the dead? To me, the latter seems a heck of a lot more plausible to believe.
When I reflect on the disaffiliation and or apostasy from the Christian church since the 1960’s, I can't help but think that it’s a result of a perfect storm, or as the saying goes, the stars and moon aligned. Was it a coincidence or was it a calculated siege on religiosity, as described by Pope Leo 13th in 1885, by the mastermind of Satan battling the church on numerous fronts such as: