Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Movement from Intellectualism to Matters of the Heart

Over the years, many have noticed  that those who have been baptized while in military service, when discharged, do not usually join a Church. In recent years, we have heard a great deal of the growth of Catholicism in Korea but a lack of depth in the lives of many Catholics. The recent appointment of a religious as the new bishop of the Korean military, which occasioned a flurry of editorials and articles in Catholic media, may reverse this trend. He is the second religious to be made  bishop in Korea, and will be responsible for the pastoral care of those in the military, an obligatory service for all males.

The comments on the appointment have mentioned the symbolic value of the new bishop's position. Being a religious and  having worked in the field of spirituality for the Franciscans, there is hope that he will help energize the present movement in the Korean Church as it deals with finding ways to deepen the spirituality of our Christians.

The efforts of the new bishop, our Catholic media acknowledge, will not change anything quickly, but it is an important sign for the future. Whether the emphasis on quantity will shift to quality will depend on the spirituality of our Christians. At present, even minor difficulties can irritate because the inner life is missing.

The appointment of the second religious bishop to the Korean military has been seen by many as a symbolic message that the Spirit is at work, causing us to review the way we have conducted our catechumenate.

The Church in Korea knows that the Church in the West is on a downhill slide and that if something is not done here to stem the slide, this could be a self portrait of the Korean Church in the near future. .

A Jesuit superior was quoted as saying: "Since the Church got caught up in intellectualism, we have had a decline in church attendance; the faith has not descended to the heart. When we  experience the risen Lord in our lives, we will see the Church come alive." And a professor mentioned that the appointment of the new bishop brings up another subject to deal with: spirituality, the central focus, of course, of our Catholic life.

In Korea, unlike the States, on many topics, like spirituality, there is unanimity. What is needed is to have everyone working together to make our spirituality a deeply felt reality that all can experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment