EVEN TODAY IT’S POSSIBLE TO LISTEN TO GOD
All the studies say it. Religion is in crisis in the developed societies of the West. Each day there are less who are interested in religious beliefs. The elaborations of theologians hardly have any effect. Young people are abandoning religious practices. Society is sliding toward a growing indifference.
Yet there is something we believers should never forget. God isn’t in crisis. That Supreme Reality, toward which religions with different names point, continues alive and operating. God is still today in immediate contact with each human being. The crisis of religion can’t keep God from continuing to offer Self to each person in the mysterious depth of conscience.
From this perspective, it’s wrong to «demonize» excessively the actual religious crisis, as if it were an impossible situation for God’s saving action. It’s not. Each socio-cultural context has its more or less favorable conditions for the development of a determined religion, but the human person maintains intact her possibilities for opening herself to the ultimate Mystery of life, which she investigates from the intimacy of her conscience.
The parable of «those invited to the wedding feast» remembers it expressively. God doesn’t exclude anyone. God’s only longing is that human history end in a joyful celebration. God’s only desire is that the spacious banquet hall be filled with those invited. All is now prepared. No one can keep God from making God’s invitation arrive to everyone.
It’s true that the religious call meets rejection in more than a few, but God’s invitation can’t be stopped. Everyone can hear it, «good and bad», those who live in «the city» and those who go about lost «throughout the crossroads». Each person who hears the call of goodness, of love and of justice is welcoming God.
I think about so many people who ignore just about everything of God. They only know a caricature of what’s religious. They can never suspect «the joy of believing». I’m sure that God is alive and working in what’s most intimate in their being. I’m convinced that many of them welcome God’s invitation in paths that I know nothing about.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf