Reading through this week’s stories, I was struck by a phrase that popped up in two totally different contexts.
The first I found in David Quinn’s article about Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin’s recent shockingly bleak assessment of the present and future of the Catholic Church in Ireland (see Page 4). One of the critiques Archbishop Martin made was that Irish young people are “among the most catechized in Europe but the least evangelized.”
The second I found in the Letters to the Editor, in which one reader laments that “many Catholics have been sacramentalized [meaning that they have received the sacraments] but never converted” (see Page 18).
The two phrases are very similar, and basically boil down to the observation that there are many Catholics — including those in church every Sunday — who, for whatever reason, haven’t seriously engaged their Faith.
I think it’s mostly a result of the ordinary push-and-pull of daily life. We all have busy schedules, a thousand demands on our attention (which are harder and harder to escape in an age of smartphones and cell phones), all against the background of media saturation everywhere we go and look.
And so gravity pulls us away from the things we know are important but which take a conscious effort to pursue and cultivate. And I’m not just talking about growing in the Faith. Another example is our relationships with friends and family who live elsewhere (in another part of the country or the world); it takes worthwhile effort to maintain contact with those we don’t see on a regular basis. Out of sight, out of mind.
So what is the solution? Well, one might be to make sure we keep the important things in sight so we keep them in mind.
With friends who are far away, that might mean keeping their picture on the fridge.
With the Faith, it might be pious pictures and statues at home to serve as a continual reminder to keep on the journey.
But let me suggest another way, too: Catholic periodicals like OSV Newsweekly.
Of course, if you’re reading this, you already know this. Reading a Catholic newspaper like OSV week after week helps develop a way of seeing the world through the eyes of our Faith — always young and relevant, but enriched with centuries of thought, wisdom and tradition. It can be a great aid in transforming the practice of our Catholicism from simply catechesis, Sunday and sacraments to something that is never far from our thoughts.
You can help share this tool by encouraging friends, family and fellow parishioners to try OSV Newsweekly for free. To sign up for seven free issues, have them call 1-800-348-2440 ext. 2171 or navigate to www.osv.com, click on the OSV Newsweekly cover image, then click on the free offer button on the right side of the screen.
Thank you for your support!
I look forward to hearing from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.