Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Why the Sudden Growth in O.P. Vocations

Why the Sudden Growth in O.P. Vocations

Ratings: (0)|Views: 873 |Likes:
Published by Matthew Plese
There is something new afoot among the young men being who are today being drawn to the priesthood and religious life, and thus to the Dominican Order. I have noticed it over the past few years, but it seems more pronounced or at least more evident to me in the people born in the mid- to late 80s and early 90s
There is something new afoot among the young men being who are today being drawn to the priesthood and religious life, and thus to the Dominican Order. I have noticed it over the past few years, but it seems more pronounced or at least more evident to me in the people born in the mid- to late 80s and early 90s

More info:

Categories:Presentations
Published by: Matthew Plese on Jul 09, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

11/13/2013

pdf

text

original

 
By Mark Worsham
St Bernard Monastery 
Why the Sudden Growth in O.P. Vocations
 
From a cultural perspectiveThere is something new afoot among the young men being whoare today being drawn to the priesthood and religious life, andthus to the Dominican Order. I have noticed it over the past fewyears, but it seems more pronounced or at least more evident tome in the people born in the mid- to late 80s and early 90s. Mysense is that these 20- and 30-somethings have been radicalizedby their experience before entering the Order in a way that we werenot. I am not certain how they would articulate their experience for themselves. It is as if they had gone to the edge of an abyss andpulled back from it. Whereas we tended to experience modernity(and then post-modernity) as a kind of adventure that never or rarely touched the core of our faith, these 20- to 30- somethingshave experienced the moral relativism and eclectic religiosity of the ambient culture-and possibly of their own personal experience-and recognized it as a chaotic but radical alternative to Christianitywith which no compromise is possible.It may be hard for us to comprehend, but these young people donot share the cultural optimism that many of us learned to take for granted in the post-conciliar period, even if with deepening uneaseand disillusionment as the years of the late twentieth century woreon.The Second Vatican Council, even for those untroubled by thehermeneutics of discontinuity, was nonetheless seen as anaffirmation of modern culture. There was the perception that theChurch had previously adopted an overly negative view of theculture, creating a Catholic culture that was insulated from thewider culture (cf. Gleason 1987). But now the Church seemed to bepromoting an embrace of that culture and an affirmation of itshumanistic values and its social advocacy. In hindsight, we see
 
the terrible irony of this move, as it coincided precisely withincreasingly radical departures from the Christian worldviewthroughout western culture, as the sexual revolution gatheredmomentum, as abortion came to be legalized in more and moresocieties, and as a media-driven materialistic consumerism spreadwidely in the West and elsewhere (see Rowland 2003). With theseand other developments, the already fragile social, cultural and, insome countries, political legitimation and reinforcement of Christian values in the wider society began to unravel. The Churchnow finds herself at odds with many powerful trends in westernculture. What is more, "In the powerful yet soft secularisingtotalitarianism of distinctively modern culture, our greatest enemyi
s...the Church's ‘own internal secularisation' which, when itoccurs, does so through the ‘...largely unconscious' adoption of the ‘ideas and practices' of seemingly ‘benign adversaries'"
(Nichols 2008, 141). There are many signs of this invasion of modern cultural assumptions.The disenchantment of the liturgy is one of the most strikinginstances of this development (see Robinson 2005), and one towhich young people are particularly sensitive (as witnessed bytheir enthusiasm for the 1962 Missal). But there are many other signs of internal secularization: the erosion of belief in theuniqueness of Christ as savior, and of the Church as theindispensable means of salvation; the widespread embrace of contraception by Catholic couples; sexual immorality on the partof priests and religious; the displacement of the missionaryimpulse by social advocacy; the collapse of recognizable religiouslife among many communities of religious women in the U.S.; andso on. In the broadly influential strategy of the hermeneutics of discontinuity and rupture, many of these developments werepromoted as if they had been warranted by the Second VaticanCouncil itself.No one understood these developments more clearly than PopeJohn Paul II, as we saw in his brilliant de-construction of theunderlying premises of what he called the culture of death (notablyin Evangelium Vitae) and in his endeavor to reclaim the legacy of 
 
the council (notably by means of the 1985 Synod of Bishops). Over their more than twenty years of close collaboration, CardinalJoseph Ratzinger shared with Pope John Paul deep misgivingsabout post-conciliar cultural optimism as well as a sober assessment of the cultural drift of the final half of the twentiethcentury, and, now as Pope Benedict XVI, he has taken up andreasserted these very themes. Perhaps because both popes stroveto appeal directly to young people, 20- and 30-somethings-often insharp contrast to their elders-exhibit an almost uncannyattunement to the message of these two pontificates.In trying to understand all this, I have been influenced by CharlesTaylor's analysis of what he calls the culture of authenticityaccording to which "each of us has an original way of beinghuman" (Taylor 1992, 28). Though it seems to be a form of moralrelativism, this expressive individualism actually functions as akind of moral ideal for many people: "[T]he soft relativism thatseems to accompany the ethic of authenticity [asserts]: let eachperson do their own thing....One shouldn't criticise the others'values, because they have a right to live their own life as you do.The sin which is not tolerated is intolerance" (Taylor 2007, 484). Inthis perspective, not only is it immoral to be intolerant of thevalues of others. It is immoral to allow any extrinsic measure todisplace the "authority" of one's authentic self. Fundamental tothis "moral ideal" is the understanding "that each of us has his/her own way of realizing our humanity, and that it is important to findand live out one's own, as against surrendering to conformity witha model imposed on us from outside, by society, or the previousgeneration, or religious and political authority" (Taylor 2007, 475).If each individual is morally obliged to discover and actuate his or her unique form of humanity and reject any external measure or criterion as an immoral intrusion on the personal quest for authenticity, then the fundamental moral stance must be not tointerfere with or curtail any person in this quest.Taylor wants to show the impact of this matrix of ideas on publiclife, but there are obvious difficulties here for any religioustradition that understands itself to be in possession of a measure

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->