15 February 2014

What are we getting ourselves into?!

NB. Below are the notes I used in a recent lecture to my preaching students at NDS.

Homiletics I: Preachers, what are you getting yourselves into?

I. Influences on our people. . .

. . .lose of catholicity and triumph of the local
. . .ideology of “multiculturalism” (entitled enclaves of personal preferences)
. . .secular culture = absence of the transcendent, scientism (no truth, no center, no   structure)
. . .inadequate catechesis before and after baptism (focus on personal experience and emotions)

II. Catholics are indifferent to or disaffected with the Church’s teaching. . .

. . .a spirit of individualism, entitlement → “cafeteria Catholicism”
. . .decline of the “common good”
. . .the sexual abuse scandals → undermines moral authority, exemplifies clericalism
. . .the sharp polarities in our political life → mirrored in our ecclesial lives
. . .constant dissent from clergy, religious, and special-interest groups

III. Dominance of relativism makes preaching more difficult. . .
perspectivism: "From my perspective, X is right/wrong."

relativism: "You have your perspective on X and I have mine. There's no way to tell which perspective of X is really true."

nihilism: "Since there's no way to know whose perspective on X is really 'true,' we can conclude that there is no such thing as 'truth.' about X."

eliminativism: "If there is no 'truth' about X, then there's no reason to believe that there is any such thing as 'truth' about anything at all."

triumph of the will: "Your claim that there is such a thing as 'truth' is just an exercise of your power."

IV. Materialism/consumerism encourages. . .

. . .the erosion of our spiritual lives → focus on earthly treasure and security
. . .an indifference/hostility to the poor → “I got mine!”
. . .violations of human dignity: racism, violence → competition against the Other
. . .a decline in youth participation in the Church → more susceptible to secular culture
. . .anxiety about “success” and apathy toward holiness

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1 comment:

  1. Father I very much appreciate this particular posting. When I was in religious life in the 70's I didn't realize that relativism was creeping every so slowly in my particular community from secular society. It's what ended up driving me away from my vocation and the Church.

    God in his goodness sent a well grounded priest into my life and with his assistance I found my way back to our beautiful traditions.

    I work with young co-workers and see them struggling with ever changing values and views almost on a daily basis. They have no solid foundation on which to bounce other viewpoints off of.

    God bless you and your generous response to God's call and keep on posting your insights.