Saturday, December 15, 2012

Renmant Theology and the Church Today

More and more frequently, thoughts inquiring into the mind of God and how he will seek to purify the cancers of dissent and relativism from his Church seem to be entering more and more into my prayer and meditation.  Many a day, in response to encounters and events epitomized by the fact that our current President, perhaps the most anti-life that we have ever seen, won the Catholic vote by 51% to 48%, I cannot help but pray, "How long, Lord, will you allow this to continue, where your people who profess to believe in you and serve you--who claim to be your body--serve you with their lips but keep their hearts far from you?" (cf Mt 15:8).  Why do the numbers of the faithful continue to decline, despite the fact that we live in a world that seems increasingly dominated by hostility to Christ and his message (as the Master himself promised it would be)? Why are we failing in swaying people away from a world that offers so much yet constantly fails to deliver and can make no assurances about eternity?

In his wonderful blog that I just discovered, Monsignor Charles Pope has offered some practical insights on this question (admittedly his own thoughts and reflections, not necessarily the dogmatic teachings of the Church).  He offers them in the context of a term that I had never heard before reading his post, Remnant Theology.  Remnant Theology reflects on the history of God and his people (first Israel, now the Church founded on Christ) from the perspective that he has time and again allowed his people to be led into exile and persecution, to remove the slough of complacency, compromise with evil, and sometimes downright disobedience and dissent that has crept in over time and distanced them from complete dependence on him.

What does Remnant Theology have to teach us about the Church Today?

His conclusion is both challenging and encouraging, echoing Christ's command to those gathered as he ascended into heaven:

Frankly it is going to take a stronger and purer Church to endure the cultural tsunami that is and has been rolling in. The first waves hit in the late 60s, and successive waves look to be even more destructive as Western culture is gradually being swept away. The Church will have to be pure and strong to endure the days ahead, to rescue those we can, and to help rebuild when the terrible waves have worked their last destruction.
I realize this post will not be without controversy. I do not propose it as the only answer to the times. Neither do I claim that fallen-away Catholics have simply been pruned as though we could know they will never return and be grafted on again. We should continue to Evangelize and seek to grow the Church by Christ’s own mandate. We cannot know the size the Lord wants us to be nor should we ever stifle the Spirit of Christ’s mandate, Go and make disciples of all the nations….

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