Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Internalizing the Gospel
View from the Ark of the Catholic Times, a priest columnist, tells us about a theological research center run only by lay persons. All theological subjects are treated but the lay person's place in the Church is naturally a subject of study. One of the few in the Catholic world.
Many of the movements in which lay people are involved, and we have many in Korea: Legion of Mary, Marriage Encounter, Cursillo etc. are made up of married members. Their spirituality, they falsely believe, as a married person, does not reach that of the clergy and religious, which leaves the laity with a feeling of inferiority.
Columnist mentions a priest writer who says in the West the numbers going to Church have decreased greatly, but those interested in spirituality have increased. People want a spiritual life but not a church, they are happy with questions and don't want answers, they want truth but not obedience. They are dreaming of the restoration of a new world of values.
He sees Korean Catholics in a completely opposite way. They want the Church but not spirituality; answers not questions, liturgy not piety, obedience not truth, and he says this with sadness. They are not concerned with what is going on in the world but, to an extreme, only in what is happening in the family. There is not an appreciation of mission and social responsibility.
Clergy, religious and lay people need a mature spirituality to live a holy life. Not only to experience God but to enable us to go out to our brothers and sisters and to the world in which we live.
The theological research center in the diocese is not just educating but equipping their graduates to go out and work in society with the social gospel that they have learned and working with different groups. We see this in many other dioceses of the country. This is an answer to what the society to which we belong needs, and the Church needs to be prepared to offer it.
Even though there are many things we don't like about the direction the government is taking, we don't just complain without any Gospel reasons, and do something foolish. Instead we use what is happening to internalize the message, and come to an unified way of thinking about what we are called to do.