Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Future of the Church

h/t Doctors of the Catholic Church and Magnificat

Meditation of the Day

Placing Our Lamps on a Lamp Stand

The intellectual situation of the church has perhaps never been so open, so full of promise and so pregnant with the future at any time since the first three centuries. When Christians today take a pause on their pilgrimage and look back at the road they have covered, they see the horizons retreating and closing to form images that can be taken in at one glance; and, as the poet says, one can take leave of them with a blessing, rather than with a broken heart. The doors stand open for every new commitment, every initiative, especially on the part of laymen. And they ought seriously to tell themselves that the increased activity in the church’s organizational centers is often traceable not simply to the good will of the occupants but just as often to the lack of participation and imagination both intellectual and spiritual on the part of the lay groups. Where much ought to be in movement but only a little is in movement, one need not be surprised if an attempt is made to muzzle onlookers and do not themselves take part are those least entitle to criticize.

The future of the Church (and today she has the greatest opportunities) depends on whether laymen can be found who live out of the unbroken power of the Gospel and are willing to shape the word.

Father von Balthasar (+ 1988) was an eminent Swiss theologian who wrote prodigiously.

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