CONTRIBUTE TO THE CONVERSION OF THE CHURCH
More than a few have distanced themselves from the faith, scandalized or disappointed by the actions of a Church that according to them isn’t faithful to the Gospel or doesn’t act in line with what it preaches. Jesus also powerfully criticized religious leaders: «They do not practice what they preach». It’s just that Jesus doesn’t just stop there. He keeps seeking and calling everyone to a life that is more dignified and responsible before God.
Throughout the years, I too have been able to know first hand the actions of a Church hardly in line with the Gospel. Sometimes they have scandalized me, other times they have done me damage, almost always they have filled me with sadness. Today however I understand better than ever that the Church’s mediocrity doesn’t justify the mediocrity of my faith.
The Church will have to change much, but what’s important is that each one of us revive our faith, that we learn to believe in a different manner, that we don’t go about avoiding God, that we follow honestly the calls of our own conscience, that our way of seeing life change, that we discover what’s essential in the Gospel and live it out with joy.
The Church must overcome her inertia and fears in order to incarnate the Gospel in modern society, but each one of us must discover that I can follow Christ right now with more truth than ever, without false social support and without religious routines. Each one of us must learn to live more evangelically our work and our celebrations, our activity and our silence, without allowing ourselves to be molded by society, and without losing our Christian identity in today’s shallowness.
The Church must revise her faithfulness to Christ from the bottom up, but each one of us must verify the quality of our attachment to Christ. Each one of us must take care of our faith in the God revealed in Jesus. The sins and wretchedness of the Church institution don’t dispense me from anything or make me less responsible at all. The decision to open myself to God or to reject God is mine alone.
The Church must awaken her trust and free herself from cowardice and suspicions that keep her from spreading hope in today’s world, but each one of us are responsible for our inner joy. Each one of us must nourish our hope by approaching the true source.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf