This is the time for a historical turning point: not just to form the consciences of individuals, but to form a people in which the consciences of individuals are able to breathe, formed and imbued.
What is the weak point of the Church today? In all members of the Church there is no awareness of being the people of God, with a mission to carry out together, as a people, in history. Peter, in his first letter (1 Peter 2:9), addressing the baptised, says: “But ‘you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people claimed by God as his own possession,’ so that you may proclaim the praise of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”
The awareness of being the people of God is the cornerstone on which the entire life of the Church ought to rest; to the extent that this awareness is hard to find, the life of the Church and its impact upon history are also hard to find. To the extent that this awareness happens to be in short supply, it is powerful, it is intense, the life of the Church is vigorous and salvation reaches humanity. To such an extent that this moral sense disappears, the Church’s mission of salvation fails in equal measure.
With the “reformation,” an incensed libertarianism took hold of the Protestant world. The free examination of the Bible, the elimination of the Church as a mediator in humanities relationship with God, have obliterated the societal aspect of the Church. The Counter-Reformation saved the Catholic Church as a group of people absolved and saved by Jesus Christ. However, a personal journey towards God has been brought to the forefront. Devotion has progressively expanded and the revolution carried out throughout history as a people, as a Church, has completely vanished.
It seems paradoxical to say that the Church has been eclipsed by the holiness of her children, to whom so much devotion is now offered, whilst the fabric of this world submerged in so much wickedness, injustice, bigotry and egocentricity has not even began to scratch its surface. The Church appears more like an amalgamation of devotees, rather than a people with a real mission to fulfil. The Church has been disarmed by her own children: faithful, whom instead of proclaiming with their lives and with the word that Christ is the saviour of all humanity and that there is no one else but Christ who can save them, often hide this absolute truth as though they are ashamed.
We are slowly moving towards real religious syncretism. Catholics do not possess a sufficient awareness of the truth of which they are the custodians and occasionally seem to want to apologise for existing.
The Church is completely disarmed on the inside yet has been laid siege to from the outside.
What exactly is the advantage, ambition and purpose of so many religious denominations and schismatic groups, or of a certain fundamentalism that seem to be so inflamed today? Doing away with the Catholic Church in order to substitute it with an altogether different religion. To some it seems convenient that the various sects triumph; whose thoughts are only directed on the afterlife whilst keeping their followers submissive on this side of the afterlife!
The Church is not only besieged, but also deprived of all sensation because it has solely dedicated itself to charitable works, whilst leaving enlightenment and culture in the hands of others. But I say that a Church must never ever stop trying or admit defeat, because the salvation of the entire world would be at risk if it did so.
This is the time for a historical turning point: not just to form the consciences of individuals, but to form a people in which the consciences of individuals are able to breathe, formed and imbued. In practice: we become aware that we are a people when we begin to translate the thought of Christ and emulate them in the small and large events of our lives together. “When life challenges faith, gather the faithful and make them respond to life according to faith.” With faith man responds to God’s call: he gives himself to God entirely, lets himself be invaded and directed by Him, and enters into a communion of life with him. Christ is the beginning of new humanity. The people of God who work in Christ, with Christ, for Christ, confronting —as a people— the problems that must be solved according to the light that God has given us: within Your light, Lord, we see the light.
Abortion, the enslavement of women used in sex-trade by criminally ruthless souteneurs in order to make large sums of money, unemployed people, homeless people, unwanted children and children without families, HIV patients, those that are mentally ill, those that are lonely and elderly people, consecrated life, the need for prayer and contemplation, schools, young people, religious education, and thousands upon thousands of other problems have to be faced and solved by the “we” of Christian people.
All the components of the Christian people, parishes, ecclesial aggregations, movements, each according to their specific gift, must undertake a commitment to make everything better and new so that new heavens and a new earth can truly be realised. I believe that it is necessary for Christianity as a whole to declare a global state of emergency in order to reach the consciousness of a people who live in a remarkable way as expressed in a letter addressed to Diognetus: “Christians are the soul of the world.” Right now and without hesitation; Today; because tomorrow will be far too late.