Monday, July 6, 2020

To Live Is To Change

The hero of the modern Italian unification movement, General Garibaldi, led a voluntary militia in May 1860 and advanced to Sicily. The collapse of the monarchy and the fall of the nobles became an irresistible trend. So begins the Peace column in the Catholic Times on the subject of change.

Duke Don Fabrizio of the island's historic aristocratic family despaired when he saw the way society was going. His nephew shouted to his uncle who was trying to turn away from reality: "Everything has to change in order not to change."

The writer quotes from the novel The Leopard by Tomasi di Lampedusa. Duke Fabrizio was afraid of change. He didn't want to lose the wealth and power that had supported the glory of the family from generation to generation. But history does not rest. Time flows, whether it goes backward or forward, the landscape is always changing.

Pope Francis also was impressed with the expression. At the end of last year, during a Christmas meeting with the officials of the Vatican, he quoted this verse and emphasized the justification of the reformation of the Vatican: "Often we approach change as if were a matter of simply putting on new clothes, but remaining exactly as we were before. I think of the enigmatic expression found in a famous Italian novel: "If we want everything to stay the same, then everything has to change" (The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa).

It is obvious that the Catholic Church is unable to respond promptly to changes in society. Criticized for sticking to outdated doctrines and going along apathetically. However, it is not appropriate for the church to be sensitive to changes in the external environment like the chameleon. What would the face of the church look like if the church had quickly adapted itself every time the world took a turn left or right for the past 2000 years? 

There is speculation that Corona 19 will change the world a lot. Those who have a talent for making new words predict that "the world will be divided into Before Corona (BC) and After Corona (AC)."

Even inside the church, there has been recent talk about "Church after Corona 19". Some speak prophetically, while others see only trees, not the forest. Nevertheless, the common story is that the church must change, and it will inevitably change. Corona 19 has already changed the look of the church in a matter of months.

Korean churches should also consider change after Corona19. There is no need to fear change. Are not things that are familiar to us now the result of numerous changes in the past? You cannot grow unless you change.

The most important thing in the process of seeking change is to distinguish between what is 'to be unchanged' and 'to be changed'. There are elements of faith that should not change. In other words, it is communion with the Gospel Word, liturgy, and sacraments. 

Our attitude must change. Abandon the indolence to settle only with the familiar and begin preaching the gospel with vitality. Attitudes that become increasingly difficult to see the signs of the times must be corrected. 

Let's open a forum for public discussion on the issue. In the name of adapting to the times, we have to avoid throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

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