The Church and its ministers face challenges never before encountered in our twenty-century journey from the public ministry of Jesus. Pope Francis returns to a pastoral theme common in his other writings. Modern life all over the world has created divisions: rifts in families, divorce from culture, doubts about leaders and guides:
28. With post-modernity people feel themselves even more lost, without references of any sort, lacking in values because they have become indifferent, completely orphaned, living a fragmentation in which an horizon of meaning seems impossible. And so it is even more weighed down by the burdensome inheritance that the previous epoch left us, consisting in individualism and subjectivism (which evokes once again the Pelagian and gnostic problems). It consists also in an abstract spiritualism which contradicts human nature itself, for a human person is an incarnate spirit and therefore as such capable of symbolic action and of symbolic understanding.
Some people are left to reinvent human culture, be it West, East, Third World, New World. Perhaps they fail more when they start from scratch rather than trust the wisdom of our various ancestors.
How does anchoring ourselves in liturgy help? I’d suggest seeing liturgy as an aspect of human culture, or tending to the learnings of previous generations, and seeking the difficult paths others before us have trod.
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