An article in today's CRUX, presented the statistics on the rapid decline of enrollment in all organized religions except for evangelical groups. The Catholic church led the decline. The following is a response to that news submitted today.
Instead of being pruned back to the roots, it seems the Church needs to simplify its message until it again resembles the very simple "Good News" of Jesus in the opening keynote words in Mark 1:15-16
"Jesus came from Galilee proclaiming the good news from God,'The present moment is the right time, change the way you think about reality ["Metanoiete"] for the Kingdom of God is WITHIN you, believe this good news'."
If we preached this good news to people and helped them to learn to pray to our Father from our "inner rooms" and not see, hear touch, taste, smell or feel this truth, nor imagine it, nor conceive of it; but simply believe it, not from reason but because we trust the one who told us this, Jesus. And if we find we cannot believe in him, we ask for it as the total gift from God it is.
Our Church has developed great understanding of truth from theology, christology, liturgy, sacramental theology etc..etc.., but it is NOT understanding which helps us at the end but belief. Thomas Aquinas saw this at the end of his life when he stopped writing his Summa Theologica because he saw it as so much straw and fell into the realization attainable in silent believing contemplation of the presence of God within.
Do any of our current and indeed saintly preachers today either know how to or teach others how to pray as Jesus invites us to.
Forgive my audacity in presenting the above, it's just that I believe it. I am a 77 year old, disabled, homebound, ex Catholic High School teacher of Theology,Science and Math who still considers himself to be a Roman Catholic but unable to attend Mass. I can and still do try to pray contemplatively and would like so many others to be encouraged to do the same with less worry and guilty feelings.
Charlie Mc 5/14/15