quod pro nobis traditum est

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

listening to freedom

The recent silence is due to listening. After writing regularly here I took a few months break to listen. What I hear is the secularization of the church and the divinization of the world. This is too big an issue to handle and one reason there will always be a need for the study of theology and a theology that is a study of God (theos) and the things of God, and not merely a study of man.

One practical question that arises from secularization especially from a pastoral perspective - if one listens too much to the world around us - might be, "Is it ethical for a pastor to be preaching and teaching the faith, that is the Word of God, baptizing and distributing the blessed Sacrament to those who believe?" This becomes a weighty question not only because of secularization of the church but also because of the multitude of tasks and ventures and priorities that push this work of God over to the sidelines.

Rather, this is why there will always be a need for the church and the liturgy in the world. Christ's holy bride, the Church, of which He is the head and cornerstone and the liturgy which leads people to Christ in the preached Word and blessed Eucharist. This divine work, flowing from the cross of Christ, reveals and blesses us with the real presence of the one true God, the Holy Trinity, our Savior from sin.

While the world becomes or attempts to become more and more divine the free choice of innocent babies is taken away and "freedom" of adults becomes a mandate to take away human life, especially that of weak and innocent pre-born children. "Freedom" becomes a mandate to create "new" relationships and "new" genders. These "freedoms" are not in reality a divinization of the world but a dismantling of our society and the world around us and, ultimately, self-destruction. In addition, we are called on to give up religious freedom to pay for what may appear to be "freedoms".

There will always be attempts at secularization of the church and divinization of the world. There will always be Christ and His Church, hidden as they may be. What might appear unethical to the world might be what is missing in the world, the source of true freedom. There is a taste of this freedom, life and salvation at the altar.