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So Much is Being Lost

When I think of the current state of affairs in the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, I am so sad; deep down, soul sad.   It’s not the sadness born of nostalgia for an era gone by, when things were imagined to have been so much better than they are now.   Rather, it’s a sadness born of all the Good News the Church has to share that is being obscured by crime and cover-up, by inept clergy and underdeveloped lay leaders, by culture wars and internal fights over who’s an authentic Catholic and who is not.   So.much.good.news…missing from the national narrative, gone from US Bishops’ meetings, and not being handed on well in parish after parish after parish.   And perhaps this is the sadness of every generation serving the Church and the only difference is that it is me experiencing it, right now.   Nevertheless, I am so sad…we are losing so much.

  • We are losing our great privilege to share with Jesus in the work of Kingdom-building now, of making true his teaching that the Kingdom of heaven is right here, right now.  We have been co-missioned and have accepted that mission in the waters of baptism.  I see this sense of our honor and privilege slipping away.
  • We are losing the amazing trust that the God of all creation has placed in us to be His beloved children, co-heirs with Jesus, co-creators of the kind of world God intends. God has trusted us to be partners in this work.  I believe we are betraying that trust.
  • We are losing appreciation for the life-giving intellectual Tradition that is part of the Church’s patrimony. The intellectual Tradition itself remains, but I see that it is under used.  I also see that its power to transform is lost in battles about orthodoxy, about who are the approved messengers, and about theological nuances that can obscure the power of Jesus’ message.  A wise teacher shared with me that one of Roman Catholicism’s great gifts is its intellectual Tradition, which can support us along the way to the cliff…the edge where we meet Mystery and so are prepared to drop off over that edge because we’ve been intellectually supported.  I sense we are losing this.
  • We are losing our sense that we hold the treasures of art, architecture, and music, sacramental signs of God’s creative power.  God is a Creator and God has gifted so many through the ages and into today with the ability to create beauty.  That beauty is an invitation, a pathway and a sign of all that is right, true and beautiful about God.  Our charge to curate the beauty for all the world to share is slipping away as we fail to fund its care,  become patrons of artists, and as we fail to share the stories the beauty proclaims.
  • We are losing our sense that WE, the kin to Jesus Christ, are now Jesus’ salt, light and leaven for the world. We are the salt that seasons the world with Jesus’ startling justice.  We shine the light of Christ into the dark places so that, once they are seen, they can be redeemed by the Lord.   We are the leaven, the small pieces of Christ’s compassion and justice, that when mixed into our families, workplaces and culture, slowly change them into food for the world.  Our faith in Jesus, our relationship with Him and with His Body the Church is not for just ourselves and our personal salvation.   It is for the life of the world, and I know that is diminishing as a result of hyper-individualization.

I can go on…but I’ve shared with you five things that just make me so sad.  These are all gifts entrusted to us by God.  It’s too much to lose, and yet so much of it is slipping away.   Where are the prophets and leaders who share this sadness and so from that well draw the passion and courage to step up and learn to lead us out of this darkness, into Christ’s everlasting life?

If you agree with me, that this is too much to lose…if you want to be one who acts to stem the tears…if you sense that being sad is not enough and are looking for what else to bring forth…look through our website.  Here you will find blogs.  Here you will meet other leaders who are offering their concepts and skills to help you succeed in stemming the loss.   Here you will find us…ready to coach, mentor, plan, and support you.  There’s just too much to lose to do nothing.   Won’t you invest in improving your abilities to lead in this situation?   It will make all the difference.   Really, it will.

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