Thank you, Chris, for sharing your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings! Best wishes on your journey!
What strikes me is that no one mentions the importance of grace and the Sacraments. Jesus nourishes us on our journey to the Father.
There is no mention of the Holy Trinity., the importance of the teachings of Jesus, the gospels, the very core of our Catholic faith. The word
Catholic is used, but does anyone know it’s meaning?
I don’t think that there is an understanding of what it really means to be a Catholic!
The Eucharist is the center of the Catholic!
Dear Alice: The tone and tenor of your comment suggests that you are not open to the reality of Church experience among youth in the western world. The ones who are leaving (or have already left) reject an institution that is wholly counter cultural (anti-modernism comes to mind) to the reality that surrounds them. Western society has largely moved beyond authoritarian and superstitious modes of belief and worship, instead opting for more personal, meaningful faith experiences that resonate in their daily interactions with others. There is nothing wrong with saying “Eucharist is the center of the Catholic” (along with the other sacraments) but as opposed to a rote “duty” this needs to be filtered through the lens of reality and be presented in such a way that connects and provides value for our youth in their pursuit of “the word made flesh.” This is akin to Pope Francis’ metaphor of Eucharist as “food for the journey” as opposed to a “prize for the perfect.” Your insistence on adhering to old forms (emphasis on institutional sacraments and supernatural grace) and dismissal of their “stories” is precisely what many of our youth reject and hinders the Church from finding new ways to evangelize the youth of today.
As the President and CEO of St. Mary’s Press has aptly stated:
“It’s clear that church leaders will need to open their minds and their hearts in order to view disaffiliation not as a grave threat, but as a new reality in which the church’s evangelizing mission must function in wholly new ways,” Vitek said. “Most young people still believe in God and want to be connected spiritually, but they also believe that religion is just one path to a fulfilled life. A critical first step for the church is to provide a nonjudgmental place for young people to openly and honestly wrestle with their questions, struggles, and doubts about faith and religion. If we don’t, they will leave and find a place where they can.”
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